Treasury Secretary Jack Lew testifies during a Senate Finance Committee hearing last year on Capitol Hill. - 

Investors are putting their hopes on to talk that Congress could get behind a short-term delay to the impending collision with the limit on federal borrowing. This would be like getting an extension on a term paper, the work would still have to be done but not by the current deadline, October 17th. Treasury Secretary Jack Lew was on Capital Hill this morning warning about what he sees as the widespread consequences of a default. Some Republicans are suggesting one way to mute the impact is to prioritize what the government pays, the way you might pay the heating bill before a gym membership during a tough month for a household budget. The Treasury Secretary thinks that makes no sense.

Retailers have started ramping up their seasonal hiring. In the last few weeks, Amazon said it would hire 70,000 workers. Wal-Mart, 55,000. Even as seasonals are hired, permanent staff will log a lot more time on the sales floor. That strategy is playing out at businesses as large as Wal-Mart and as small as Building Blocks Toys, a small shop on Chicago's North Side.

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