Emerging from a White House meeting with President Obama, Goldman Sachs CEO Lloyd Blankfein urged lawmakers not to use the threat of default to achieve political gains and warned that failure to raise the debt ceiling would have “extremely adverse” consequences.
“You can re-litigate these policy issues in the political forum, but they shouldn’t use the threat of causing the U.S. to fail on its obligations to repay its debt as a cudgel,” he told reporters. “We’d like to see the fight not be on this ground.”
The president and vice president met today with representatives of the Financial Services Forum, including Blankfein, Bank of America CEO Brian Moynihan and JPMorgan Chase CEO Jamie Dimon, to discuss the impacts of the government shutdown and the upcoming deadline to raise the debt ceiling.
The president has said he will not negotiate over the need to increase the nation’s borrowing authority, but Republicans have made clear they will expect some form of political concession in exchange for raising the debt ceiling.
“There’s no debating the seriousness of the U.S. not paying its debt,” Moynihan told reporters.
“There’s precedent for a government shutdown. There’s no precedent for a default. We’re the most important economy in the world. We’re the reserve currency of the world. Payments have to go out to people. If money doesn’t flow in, then money doesn’t flow out. We really haven’t seen this before and I’m not anxious to be a part of the process that witnesses it,” Blankfein said.
The CEOs stressed that their group is apolitical and that they also plan to meet with leaders of the Republican party.