Could Washington's troubles turn into a eurozone-like crisis?

A $20 bill at the Bureau of Engraving and Printing in Washington, D.C.

Steve Chiotakis: A deadline of next Wednesday looms for super committee members in Congress hoping to find big budget cuts: $1.2 trillion dollars worth over the next decade.

But partisan bickering has the two sides far apart. And there are comparisons being made between our nation's debt issue, and the troubles going on in Europe.

Jack Ablin is chief investment officer at Harris Private Bank, and he's with us from Chicago. Hey Jack.

Jack Ablin: Hi Steve.

Chiotakis: There's been a lot of talk about what happens if we don't see that deal come out of the super committee. Some have even compared the future to what we've seen go on in Greece and in the eurozone. Is that fair comparison, do you think?

Ablin: Yeah, I mean I think it's a fair comparison. I actually compare it to the NBA; I'm wondering who's going to come up with a solution first: the NBA or the super committee. For as bleak as the NBA prospects are, I think they still edge out the super committee right now.

Chiotakis: Is it the political atmosphere in Washington that's stopping anything from getting done?

Ablin: Yeah, I think it's really this divisive notion of one-upsmanship on both sides of the aisle, and instead of the possibility of granting your opponent any kind of success, I think that Congresspeople are willing to throw the prospects of the country out the window right now.

Chiotakis: But the fact of the matter is, we do have this problem, this long-term problem with the deficit that grows. Could it get to some sort of crisis level?

Ablin: Yeah unfortunately, Steve, if you look at the congressional approval ratings, they do tend spike and rise around crises. We'll have something daunting in order for them to move. I mean, that's where we can look at Europe as an example where, you know, we can allow the European Central Bank to keep pushing the problem down the road, but eventually some difficult decisions have to be made.

Chiotakis: Jack Ablin, chief investment officer at Harris Private Bank in Chicago. Jack, thanks.

Ablin: Thank you, Steve.

About the author

Steve Chiotakis was the host of Marketplace Morning Report until January 2012.

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