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Wall Street versus Main Street reaction to debt ceiling debate

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STEVE CHIOTAKIS: Back here at home, President Obama will address debt-ceiling negotiations when he talks to reporters in just a few hours. He and Republicans are far apart on a deal so the U.S. Senate is getting involved with a contingency plan — what’s being called “Plan B.” It would allow the president to raise the debt ceiling three times through 2012, unless two-thirds of Congress blocks it.

Let’s see how all this is playing in the financial markets today. Jill Schlesinger is editor-at-large at CBS/MoneyWatch. She’s with us live from New York as she is every Friday. Good morning Jill.


CHIOTAKIS: So weeks and weeks and weeks of negotiations and nothing yet. What are people around you saying?

SCHLESINGER: You know I think a lot of Americans are disconnected from the debt ceiling debt. Just yesterday, the security guard at CBS said to me, “Hey these guys in Washington, they’re fighting about this nonsense and it doesn’t help me sell my house or get my brother a job.” And I think that’s the reality on the ground.

CHIOTAKIS: You’re pretty entrenched Jill in Wall Street — a former trader yourself there in New York. What’s the word among insiders about a perspective deal?

SCHLESINGER: You know, traders who make deals on a minute to minute basis cannot believe how long this is taking. But they assume a deal will occur because the stakes are too high. They don’t care about the details, they want a deal that gets the country through the August 2 deadline.

CHIOTAKIS: Wall Street clearly thinks, Jill, a deal is coming, but things don’t look super positive right? We’re still not sure?


CHIOTAKIS: When do things get jumpy over there?

SCHLESINGER: I think if there’s no deal by the middle of next week, Wall Street starts to get itchy and you’ll know it very quickly because the panic trade will be on. Stocks and bonds will fall, gold will rise.

CHIOTAKIS: So, trading — is it built in though do you think in Wall Street right now? These talks?

SCHLESINGER: I think that the talks are built in and if there is no deal, it will be a calamity in the financial markets.

CHIOTAKIS: Well, let’s hope it doesn’t get that far. All right, Jill Schlesinger at CBS/Moneywatch. Thanks.

SCHLESINGER: Great to be will you.

CHIOTAKIS: Have a great weekend.

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