Deal or no deal, the U.S. Congress’ dance with default impressed policymakers and investors in China and Japan with just how vulnerable their own economic revival plans are to the next political tantrum on Capitol Hill.
The 11th-hour agreement on Wednesday between Congressional Republicans and Democrats to raise the limit on U.S. government borrowing and end a 16-day government shutdown also averted a default on U.S. Treasury bonds that had threatened the global economy and financial system.
But Congress gets another chance to hold U.S. creditworthiness hostage early next year ahead of a new February 7 deadline to approve a debt ceiling increase.
“We’re glad a deal has been struck,” said a Japanese policymaker, who spoke on condition of anonymity. “But the uncertainty will remain and it will be the same thing all over again early next year.”
He and other Japanese officials say they have already developed contingency plans that include flooding Japan’s banking system with cash to keep markets functioning however panicked investors become. And analysts say China, whose Communist leaders are due to hold a key policy meeting next month, may step up a push for global acceptance of its currency, the yuan or renminbi, as an alternative to the U.S. dollar in international trade.
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