Bank of America is preparing for a possible U.S. debt default, says CEO Brian Moynihan. He is not a fan of eliminating the debt ceiling altogether as some lawmakers have proposed. Meanwhile, Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen says “every responsible member of Congress must agree to raise the debt ceiling.”
Bank of America CEO Brian Moynihan on Possible US Debt Default
The CEO of Bank of America, Brian Moynihan, talked about the prospect of the U.S. defaulting on its debt in an interview with CNN Monday as Congress is in conflict over raising the debt ceiling again.
While emphasizing that he hopes lawmakers resolve their issues, the Bank of America executive warned that defaulting on the country’s debt remains a possibility that cannot be ignored. He was quoted as saying:
We have to be prepared for that, not only in this country but in other countries around the world … You hope it doesn’t happen, but hope is not a strategy — so you prepare for it.
A number of lawmakers have proposed legislation that would eliminate the U.S. debt ceiling altogether. Moynihan is not a fan of the idea. When asked about whether the U.S. should eliminate its debt ceiling, the Bank of America boss said: “There’s got to be an argument about how we make sure we live within our means as a country … I think we should leave it alone and make sure it operates correctly.”
However, he conceded that the U.S. government had to take on “a lot of debt over the past couple of years to overcome the pandemic drag on the economy.” Moynihan added that Bank of America is still predicting a “mild recession” at some point in the future.
Janet Yellen Urges Congress to Raise US Debt Ceiling
Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen warned Monday that the U.S. government risks “economic and financial catastrophe” if Congress fails to pass a bill to raise the $31.4 trillion debt ceiling. She said in an interview with ABC Monday:
America has paid all of its bills on time since 1789, and not to do so would produce an economic and financial catastrophe … And every responsible member of Congress must agree to raise the debt ceiling.
The treasury secretary believes that the U.S. economy is not going to fall into a recession. “Last month, we created over 500,000 jobs, more than 12 million since the president took office, and inflation is coming down,” she said.