Wall Street should be more “concerned” about the debt ceiling fight in Washington, President Barack Obama said Wednesday.
True, Washington gridlock is nothing new, the president said during an interview on CNBC, but “this time I think Wall Street should be concerned.”
“When you have a situation in which a faction is willing to default on U.S. obligations, then we are in trouble,” he said:
The president later expressed his frustration with the Tea Party wing of the Republican Party, saying their reflexive rejection of “civil” negotiations poses a serious threat to the U.S. economy.
“I’m pretty well known for being a calm guy,” the president said. “Am I exasperated? Absolutely I’m exasperated. Because this is entirely unnecessary.”
Obama has done everything he can to deal politely with Republicans, he continued, but they just won’t listen to reason.
“John, I think it’s fair to say that, during the course of my presidency, I’ve bent over backwards to work with the Republican Party,” he said. “And have purposely kept my rhetoric down.”
“I am exasperated with the idea that unless I say that 20 million people, ‘you can’t have health insurance, they will not reopen the government.’ That is irresponsible,” the president said. “If we get into the habit where one party is allowed to extort, … then any president who comes after me we be unable to govern effectively.”
If Washington fails to come to an agreement over the nation’s borrowing limit, the effects on the economy could be disastrous, the president said.
“It is important for [Wall Street] to recognize that this is going to have a profound impact on our economy and their bottom lines, their employees and their shareholders,” Obama said.
“One thing I know that the American people are tired of, and I have to assume businesses are tired of, is this constant governing from crisis to crisis,” he said.
Here’s the complete interview:
The president telling Wall Street it should be more “concerned” about Washington has a few analysts worried about his tone. See, Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke can with just one sentence send stocks plummeting. Markets tend to react violently to ominous and/or ambiguous comments made by policymakers.
The President of the United States of America going on national television after trading hours to tell Wall Street that it should start worrying about Washington gridlock could prove to be a very bad idea.
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Featured image screen grab. This post has been updated.