U.S. President Barack Obama delivers remarks about the launch of the Affordable Care Act's health insurance marketplaces.
U.S. President Barack Obama delivers remarks about the launch of the Affordable Care Act's health insurance marketplaces. - 
Listen To The Story

President Obama is expected to sit down Wednesday with members of the Financial Services Forum. The group represents some of the world’s biggest banks and insurance companies -- among them Bank of America, Goldman Sachs and JPMorgan Chase.

One inevitable topic of conversation: the looming deadline to raise the $16.7 trillion federal debt ceiling. That’s the amount of money the U.S. Treasury can legally borrow to pay its bills. Congress has until October 17 to increase it or risk a potential economic disaster.

Wall Street doesn’t just want Congress to raise the debt ceiling, says Chris Krueger, Washington analyst for Guggenheim Securities.

“Ideally they would like to see Congress eliminate the debt ceiling, so we don’t continually have these situations where Congress threatens these showdowns,” Krueger says.

Whether bankers can do much about it is another question, he says. The shadow of the financial crisis still hangs over Washington, and Wall Street isn’t exactly popular with either party.

It won’t be lobbying that gets a divided Congress to work together, says Karen Petrou with Federal Financial Analytics.

“I think it’s ultimately going to be the markets that I hope don’t have to teach them a lesson, because it could be a very costly one to all the rest of us,” Petrou says.

If the U.S. government can’t pay all of its bills, Petrou predicts stock prices will drop sharply, interest rates will spike and that could slow down economic growth.

“I think the best compliment I can give is not to say how much your programs have taught me (a ton), but how much Marketplace has motivated me to go out and teach myself.” – Michael in Arlington, VA

As a nonprofit news organization, what matters to us is the same thing that matters to you: being a source for trustworthy, independent news that makes people smarter about business and the economy. So if Marketplace has helped you understand the economy better, make more informed financial decisions or just encouraged you to think differently, we’re asking you to give a little something back.

Become a Marketplace Investor today – in whatever amount is right for you – and keep public service journalism strong. We’re grateful for your support.

Follow Amy Scott at @amyreports