Presidential Mansion

Deficit-reduction deal

President Barack Obama and top lawmakers face growing pressure Thursday to speed up efforts to cobble together a deficit-reduction deal.

Negotiators have struggled to break their impasse and narrow the options even as an Aug. 2 deadline looms for raising the government’s $14.3 trillion debt ceiling or else rendering the world’s biggest economy unable to pay its bills.

Banks are looking at their and their customers’ holdings to determine whether Treasury bonds will retain their value in the case of a default, while mutual funds are preparing presentations to persuade their boards that they can hold the bonds even if the government debt is downgraded, the Times reported.

The White House said previously that July 22 was the last day a deal could be reached in time to get legislation through Congress, but it has since backed away from that deadline.


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