Nobody can know for sure what would happen in the global economy if the United States was to miss an interest payment or miss a payoff on a maturing note or bond. The risk would be sell orders from around the world, which could cause a collapse in the bond market. The Federal Reserve would be at risk as its $3.5 trillion balance sheet makes the central bank insolvent.
What would happen to citizens who depend upon Medicare and Social Security? Many bills that are paid with money from social security would not be paid, which could be catastrophic in the local economies on Main Street, U.S.A.
Placing the debt ceiling as a crisis issue is a huge mistake. In 2011, a delay in raising the debt ceiling caused a rating agency to downgrade the U.S. debt for the first time ever and resulted in the fiscal cliff and the sequestration spending cuts.
I am optimistic that the debt ceiling will be raised in time to avert these potential negatives, but our trading partners and investors in our debt will be less likely to add to their Treasury portfolios and may seek trade agreements in non-dollar terms. Our reputation has been hurt by this divided Congress.This environment is a difficult one for investors, but fortunately the markets have been stable and so far the downside volatility that has occurred since mid-September has provided buying opportunities. Take a look at the daily chart of the Dow Industrial Average. The Dow set its latest all time high at 15,709.59 on Sept. 18 then declined 6.3% to 14,719.43 into last Wednesday, holding its 200-day simple moving average 14,748.65 and my semiannual value level at 14,724. The close at 15,237.11 on Monday was above its 50-day SMA at 15,171.43, which indicates upside potential is to this month's risky level at 15,932, yet another new all-time high. Above are my semiannual and quarterly risky levels at 16,490 and 16,775. If things go wrong and the Dow closes below 14,724 the downside risk is to my annual value level at 12,696.