Five winners of the debt ceiling crisis

Investors need to put their money somewhere after the government loses its triple-A rating. From gold to Guernsey, here are five beneficiaries of the U.S. flirtation with default.

Gold
Gold
It's undeniable that there are few winners in the frenzied debate over raising the nation's $14.3 trillion debt limit. However you look at it, the big losers are -- well, us. A downgrade of the U.S. government would result in higher borrowing costs for everything from home to car loans, further straining consumers and businesses.

Perhaps the most obvious place for investors to put money now is in the yellow metal. Gold jumped to a record $1,634 per ounce after the the vote was postponed on the Republican plan. Helped by debt troubles in Europe, the precious metal has climbed 33% against the U.S. dollar over the past year.

And while raising the debt ceiling (if and whenever that should happen) could finally calm markets some, gold's rally likely won't end. A higher debt ceiling would mean more U.S. dollars sloshing around the economy, which could effectively put downward pressure on the greenback and keep gold on the minds of investors looking for a decent store of value.


By Nin-Hai Tseng - Last updated July 29 2011: 10:40 AM ET
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The business lobby has entered the debt ceiling debate at the 11th hour with only a whimper, considering the stakes of a default for corporations.

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