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A default on a scheduled federal debt payment, caused by the government’s lack of funds necessary to service its debt obligations, could spark a fire sale on U. Treasury securities, prompt a sharp fall in the value of the dollar, and launch a rapid “flight to quality” as investors and dollar holders flee to the perceived safety of other nations’ bonds and currencies—all culminating in a U. Raising the necessary tax revenue would, for example, siphon off significant funds from businesses and households, thereby slowing the wheels of commerce and reducing household wealth.