Bank CEOs: Raise debt ceiling this week -- or else!

@CNNMoney July 28, 2011: 10:57 AM ET

NEW YORK (CNNMoney) -- The CEOs of the nation's leading banks, including Goldman Sachs and JPMorgan Chase, sent a letter to the White House and Congress on Thursday urging them to hurry up and reach a debt agreement.

In the letter, sent by the Financial Services Forum to President Obama and members of Congress, the CEOs said an agreement needs to be made this week, or else there will be "grave" consequences.

"A default on our nation's obligations, or a downgrade of America's credit rating, would be a tremendous blow to business and investor confidence -- raising interest rates for everyone who borrows, undermining the value of the dollar, and roiling stock and bond markets -- and, therefore, dramatically worsening our nation's already difficult economic circumstances," the letter stated.

CEOs who signed the letter include Brian Moynihan of Bank of America (BAC, Fortune 500), Vikram Pandit of Citi (C, Fortune 500), James Dimon of JPMorgan Chase (JPM, Fortune 500) and Lloyd Blankfein of Goldman Sachs (GS, Fortune 500).

Debt ceiling: The trillion dollar mystery

CEOs of Allstate Insurance, BNY Mellon, Metlife, Morgan Stanley (MS, Fortune 500), Prudential, State Street Corp., US Bancorp and Wells Fargo (WFC, Fortune 500) also signed the letter.

Banks aren't the only ones worried about a debt ceiling deadlock. Economists say the prolonged debate over how to resolve the nation's debt has already hurt the U.S. economy -- and many worry that a lack of resolution could throw the country into a double-dip recession.

Fallout could include a blow to gross domestic product, economists surveyed by CNNMoney said. If the debt ceiling isn't raised, the government won't be able to pay $134 billion, or 44%, of its bills -- leaving people like Social Security beneficiaries and federal employees without paychecks. That's the rough equivalent of slashing annual spending by $1.6 trillion, according to a Bipartisan Policy Center analysis.

After butting heads for months, lawmakers have five days left to meet the Aug. 2 deadline for reaching a debt ceiling agreement. There are currently two measures being considered by Congress that would allow the economy to avoid a default, but it's unclear if either has a chance of being approved. To top of page

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