The Washington PostThe Washington Post

World watches in disbelief and horror as U.S. nears possible default

By Rachel Siegel and Jeff Stein

19 May 2023 · 6 min read

Editor's Note

Most nations don’t have a fixed debt ceiling, but Washington’s fight over raising the cap carries global implications. As party talks rumble on, The Post explains why the stakes are so high.

Gathered last weekend at the Toki Messe convention center and Hotel Okura in Niigata, Japan, the world's top economic officials were scheduled to discuss some of the biggest emergencies facing the global economy, such as the war in Ukraine and climate change.

But the finance ministers for the Group of 7 nations had another question for Treasury Secretary Janet L. Yellen: What is going on with the U.S. debt ceiling?

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