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Bank Nationalization

What a Debt Ceiling Default Would Do to Your Debt

What will happen this week if the U.S. government has maxed out its credit cards, as is expected to occur on Thursday?Here's the truth: No one really knows. It's quite likely Oct. 17 will come and go and no one will notice. Markets may yawn that day, and Americans won't even be slapped in the face by locked national parks or disappearing pandacams, as they were when the government shutdown took effect earlier this month.But if the U.S.  reaches the debt ceiling , it could be the day that America's status as world power ends, not with a bang but a whimper. The impact of the federal government not paying some bills, which will almost certainly occur should partisan bickering continue much past Oct. 17, will be much more subtle, and much more significant, than the closing of national parks.The debt ceiling, enshrined in federal law back in 1917, functions like a  credit limit on your credit card . When reached, the government will no longer be able to borrow money to pay its bills, as it ...

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