Tim Ryan, chief executive officer of the Securities Industry and Financial Markets Association, said Congress should end political gamesmanship over the debt ceiling and accept a “responsibility and the duty” to raise the limit. In a commentary published by the The Hill, Ryan said if the debt ceiling is not raised, Americans will see interest rates on car loans, home mortgages and student loans spike dramatically. “Higher borrowers costs for businesses means less capital can be put toward research and development, business expansion and job creation,” he said. Ryan warned a downgrade on U.S. debt could create higher rates for Treasury securities, causing those rates to bleed into the overall American economy. While Ryan said there’s definitely a need for Congress to get the nation’s fiscal house in order, he warns taxpayers could end up paying more if a default takes place. “Each time the debt ceiling is approached, the Treasury must take extraordinary measures to keep from breaching the limit. One significant step requires disrupting the regular and predictable auction schedule of U.S. Treasury bonds, bills and notes and the reassignment of manpower to debt issues,” Ryan wrote. He said the Government Accountability Office estimated a seven-day delay in the announcement for the auction of a two-year Treasury note in 2002 added annual interest costs of $19 million for taxpayers. “And this was only one instance. Auctions have been delayed or postponed 18 times since 1996 because of debt ceiling issues,” according to the SIFMA chief executive. Ryan claims uncertainties created by the debt ceiling debate added $78 million in additional borrower costs to all three-month Treasury bills issued as a result of the debt limit. But not all are sold on the doomsday speech tied to the debt ceiling debate. When asked if the hoopla is warranted, Christopher Whalen with Institutional Risk Analytics said: “No, in a democracy, sometimes the creditors must wait. If the U.S. misses the deadline, creditors will simply have to be patient. There is no alternative.” Write to Kerri Panchuk.
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