What Impact Would A National Default Have?

This is an archived article and the information in the article may be outdated. Please look at the time stamp on the story to see when it was last updated.

As members of congress played politics with the country`s pocket book well into Day 16 of the partial government shutdown, the nation found itself hours away from a financial default.

So what affect would that have on us as individuals and as a country overall if we did hit that debt ceiling?

“To the average person, it doesn`t mean a heck of a lot. Now if you`re invested it could mean a lot more, especially if we default on the debt because the markets will go down, interest rates may go up short term,” said financial planner Lou Ingargiola.

Ingargiola is the president of Ingargiola Wealth Management Group in Dunmore and many of his clients have stock portfolios. He has received calls from people concerned with losing money.

The first thing, he said, is to not panic.

“Unless there`s a reason to sell or do something different, you can`t let this outside stuff, because it`s not an economic issue that`s happening it`s more political,” said Ingargiola.

Ingargiola said if the U.S. Treasury did default, bills will still be paid. It will just be a matter of who gets money and where that money is borrowed from.

“All the government`s doing is paying off the visa card with the master card,” said Ingargiola. “Social security will probably get paid because it has to get paid. The interest on the debt will probably still get paid, maybe other things can`t.”

Our country`s credit rating would be downgraded, but he doesn`t think that would have much impact.

“Because people, in times of trouble, flock to the safest and best place and that`s always been the United States, and that`s always been the United States treasury," said Ingargiola.