Realizing the Local Impact of Hitting the Debt Ceiling

By: Brendan Ponton Email
By: Brendan Ponton Email

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HARRISONBURG, Va. (WHSV) -- If we do hit the debt ceiling, there could be some tough consequences for many in the Valley.

Interest rates could go up a lot and the value of pensions or retirement funds could go down in the short term.

Dr. Chris Gingrich, an economics professor at EMU, said we don't know exactly what could happen because the country has never defaulted before.

It could really impact people who borrow money or industries that rely on borrowing, like home construction or the car industry if people become nervous about making big purchases.

He said this could all happen quickly with interest rates climbing fast.

"If those interest rates would climb rapidly due to market uncertainty then you have sectors like housing probably taking a very big hit in a short period of time. From there forward, you could easily see a drift back into recession," said Gingrich.

Don't bail on any holdings you might have in financial markets because they could be going down in the short term, according to Gingrich.

He also said to hold out hope that Congress will figure this out quickly.


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