If Washington lawmakers don't beat the debt ceiling crisis deadline, we'll see plummeting stocks, soaring interest rates, a slumping dollar and a severe shock to the weak economy.
All of which will hit you in the wallet - and hard.
Most investors are not prepared for the consequences of the failure of U.S. lawmakers to agree on a plan that will raise the federal debt ceiling before the Aug. 2 deadline.
Few believed it even possible, but with only a week to go Congressional leaders and U.S. President Barack Obama are no closer to a deal than they were several months ago.
"We may have a few stressful days coming up - stressful for the markets of the world and the American people," William M. Daley, President Obama's chief of staff, admitted on the CBS program Face the Nation
Until recently, the markets have kept a cool head - most analysts have assumed government officials would reach a compromise in time.
But when negotiations between President Obama and Speaker of the House John Boehner, R-OH, broke down over the weekend, the possibility of a U.S. default suddenly grew frighteningly real.
"There has been this expectation that at some point, they'd come up with a deal, but given the failure this weekend, I think market confidence is eroding," John Canavan, a market analyst at Stone & McCarthy Research, told The New York Times
Click here to continue reading...