US military protest shutdown

Hundreds of US military veterans gathered in Washington, DC, to demand that the country's war memorials are reopened. The memorials have been temporarily closed as a result of the federal government shutdown.

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  1. Robert Moore

US uncertainty could rattle global markets

Economists do not agree on many things, but there is a near consensus that for America to default on its debt obligations would be potentially cataclysmic so yes there is the expectation that a deal can still be struck.

Even in this town, there is a working assumption that politicians are not suicidal and there is something like 79 hours left until the debt ceiling deadline is reached.

There is of course a second deadline in play which is the concern that political uncertainty here could easily rattle the markets before they open in the morning.

The government shut down is continuing to concern economies around the world. Credit: Reuters/Jason Reed

The core problem is that there are radical Republicans here on Capitol Hill who are trying to use this deadline as leverage to extract concessions from President Obama.

The White House is saying, 'look we will negotiate but not with a gun to our heads', so the result is not just paralysis but growing acrimony as well.

All of it happens as the IMF and the World Bank hold their annual meeting in this town and really for the first time in many years the focus of their concern is not the frailties and vulnerabilities of European economies but rather how hopelessly organised the US government is.

That concern is mounting by the hour as we approach that Thursday midnight deadline.

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