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Marketplace Morning Report
Raising the Debt Ceiling

Debt talk: Still no deal

Heidi Moore Jul 26, 2011
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Stacey Vanek-Smith: So that’s what we all heard last night. What did the markets hear?

Here to translate Wall Street to English for us is our New York bureau chief Heidi Moore.


Heidi Moore: It’s sort of like the movie Groundhog Day — you know, the one where the guy relives the same day over and over until he learns his lesson. That might well have been about the debt ceiling debate — except we’re not learning anything.

Bill Murray in Groundhog Day: Rita, if you only had one day to live, what would you do with it?

Andy MacDowell: I don’t know, Phil, what are you dying of?

Murray: No, if the whole world was about to explode, what do you do?

MacDowell: I just want to know where to put the camera.

Last night in front of the prime-time TV cameras, both President Obama and House Speaker Boehner talked about the impasse. For 27 minutes, they described the reasons. And here’s what Wall Street heard: “We still don’t have a deal.”

Chris Whalen: We have a very unique position in the world, but we’re quickly eroding that position too.

That’s Chris Whalen. He wrote a book called Inflated: How Money and Debt Built the American Dream.

The debt part is important. President Obama warned about interest rates — a subject dear to Wall Street’s heart. If the United States can’t pay its bills, it would cause interest rates to go up — for the government and for everyone else.

Whalen: We’ll be paying so much money out in interest that the rest of the budget’s going to get crushed.

And if that happens, expect even more tortured budget negotiations.

In New York, I’m Heidi Moore for Marketplace.

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