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Inside Washington (04/27/2011)
* WASHINGTON (4/28/11)--In a letter to Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner, Matthew E. Zames, chairman of the Treasury Borrowing Advisory Committee, warned that a default could trigger another financial crisis. Zames, who also serves as managing director of JP Morgan Chase, said any delay by Treasury in making an interest or principal payment could cause foreign investors, who hold nearly half of outstanding Treasury debt, to reduce their purchases of Treasuries, and sell some of their existing holdings. A default by Treasury, or delay in raising the debt ceiling, could also lead to a downgrade of the U.S. sovereign credit rating. Zames warned that another financial crisis could trigger a run on money market funds, as was the case in September 2008 after the failure of Lehman Brothers. A default could also disrupt the $4 trillion Treasury financing market, which could sharply raise borrowing rates for some market participants, Zames said. The rise in borrowing costs and contraction of credit would have damaging consequences for the still-fragile current recovery …


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