Small Firms Could Suffer Catastrophic Consequences In The Event Of A US Debt Default
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The “X-date,” the time when the US government would no longer be able to pay its bills, is drawing near. A default might have devastating economic repercussions, shaking the world’s financial markets.
The country is dangerously near to possibly defaulting on its debt as a result of the ongoing negotiations between the Biden administration and Republicans in Washington to achieve a compromise on raising the federal government’s debt ceiling.
If a solution is not found by the early June deadline, the economy would quickly reverse, with disastrous consequences for small businesses. This would result in a recession, a worsening credit crunch due to rising interest rates, even higher inflation, and a weaker dollar in the event of default.
According to Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen’s statement on Wednesday, only a few days are left for the White House and GOP lawmakers to reach a deal on extending the debt limit after a protracted deadlock.
Despite the claims of both parties that defaulting is not an option, with only one week left until the deadline, pressure is growing. This implies that small businesses‘ only real option is to contact their congressional representatives and emphasise the significance of obtaining a resolution.
WHO MIGHT BE IMPACTED
According to a recent Goldman Sachs report, almost 65% of small firms think a default would be bad for them. Directly contracting small businesses with the federal government will be the first to be impacted. Then smaller companies that indirectly receive funding from larger construction companies as well as other businesses that receive government assistance and subcontracts would be impacted.
Then there are the small companies that maintain government buildings. Numerous small businesses that provide construction, maintenance, security, cleaning, electrical, landscaping, and other services depend on these facilities for a significant portion of their revenue, all of which may be disrupted without them.
Many branches of the government provide services to individuals and owners of small businesses. They are requesting passports, questioning the IRS, and awaiting regulatory approval and loan guarantees from the Small Business Administration. If financing is diverted, many other important government services might also be discontinued.
These are the immediate consequences of what would occur if the government had to prevent a loan default. Even more disastrous long-term repercussions result. If the scenario continues, the credit and financial markets will be unstable, and banks will be obliged to restrict financing to only the most secure (and typically largest) of their clients, which will cause many small businesses seeking loans to either wait or be rejected.
Economics experts generally agree that a default would result in an unavoidable economic catastrophe. According to the White House, a longer-than-three-month default, would result in a severe recession and up to 8 million job losses. Small company owners’ retirement funds and collateral are largely parked in the stock market, which might implode.
The economy would likely suffer significantly from a lengthy default, with employment growth turning from its current rate of strong gains to losses of millions. Due to the risks associated with the default, interest rates on financial products utilised by individuals and businesses, such as Treasury bonds, mortgages, and credit card interest rates, would rise.
Nobody can predict with certainty whether or not the federal government would miss its payment deadline this month. But failing to reach a compromise will have a significant negative impact on small firms nationwide, and a default might cause a recession.
Despite Yellen’s warning that a default will occur by the end of May, she does have options for at least funding the majority of the government and the silver lining in this dangerous, avoidable situation is that it would take time for thing to turn really terrible.
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