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Business News

US bankers demand higher debt ceiling

Wall Street chief executives last night urged Washington to resolve its issues and raise the federal debt ceiling after a meeting with Barack Obama.

Lloyd Blankfein, chief executive of Goldman Sachs, was among those present and declared: "There's a consensus that we shouldn't do anything that hurts the recovery. They shouldn't use the threat of causing the US to fail on its obligations to repay its debt as a cudgel."

Mr Blankfein was among other top bankers, including JPMorgan chief executive Jamie Dimon and Bank of America head Brian Moynihan, meeting the President. Mr Obama called the summit in an attempt to get big business to exert pressure on Republican refuseniks to break the stalemate.

Mr Blankfein said he and his Wall Street colleagues were "apolitical" on the various issues such as Obamacare preventing Republicans from signing and simply wanted a deal done to get the federal government functioning again.

Mr Moynihan said the bankers wanted to spread the message of how serious the current crisis is to the economy. Mr Dimon said: "We just want solutions. I think if people do the right things, America can grow aggressively and grow rapidly. That's what we should be looking for."

The MSCI All-Country index of leading global shares fell for the second day of the shutdown while gold rallied.

Meanwhile, the government standstill looked set to prevent even the economic statistics produced for policymakers and markets being issued.