Your submission is now in Draft mode.

Once it's ready, please submit your draft for review by our team of Community Moderators. Thank you!

You have been invited to co-author this question draft.

The author will submit it for review by Community Moderators when it's ready. Thanks for helping!

Submit Essay

Once you submit your essay, you can no longer edit it.


This content now needs to be approved by community moderators.


This essay was submitted and is waiting for review.

US debt default by Halloween?


According to Voice of America, the U.S. is in danger of defaulting on its sovereign debt:

Unless Congress votes to increase the amount of money the U.S. Treasury is allowed to borrow above its current debt of $28.5 trillion, the United States will default on its financial obligations sometime in the next several weeks, experts warn.

Few experts consider that likely to happen, but if it did, it could trigger an economic catastrophe with effects far beyond America's shores.

In a letter to members of Congress last week, Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen warned of the damage that would result if the U.S. is unable, even for a short time, to pay its bills.

"A delay that calls into question the federal government's ability to meet all its obligations would likely cause irreparable damage to the U.S. economy and global financial markets," wrote Yellen, the former chair of the Federal Reserve Board. "At a time when American families, communities, and businesses are still suffering from the effects of the ongoing global pandemic, it would be particularly irresponsible to put the full faith and credit of the United States at risk."

With that crisis looming, Democrats and Republicans in Washington are battling over who should take responsibility for the politically unpopular task of raising the cap on borrowing, commonly known as the debt limit. Republicans, led by Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, have vowed that not a single one of them will vote to raise the limit.

As of September 20th, Business Insider reports that Mitch McConnell says the GOP will vote for the US to default on its debt:

"We will not support legislation that raises the debt limit," McConnell said after Pelosi and Schumer's announcement. "Democrats do not need our help."

It is currently unclear when exactly the US would become unable to meet its obligations; Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen has said only that the Treasury will run out of cash “sometime in October.”

Will the U.S. default on its debt before 1 November 2021?

This question resolves positively if, before 00:00 Eastern on 1 November 2021, the US Treasury announces that the US has defaulted on any of its sovereign debt obligations, or if any of the three major credit ratings agencies (Standard & Poors, Fitch, or Moody's) announce that the US has entered default (including selective or restricted default) on any of its sovereign debt obligations, or if any two of the following media organizations announce that the US has defaulted on any of its sovereign debt obligations:

  • BBC News
  • ABC News
  • CBS News
  • CNN
  • Wall Street Journal
  • Financial Times

Make a Prediction


Note: this question resolved before its original close time. All of your predictions came after the resolution, so you did not gain (or lose) any points for it.

Note: this question resolved before its original close time. You earned points up until the question resolution, but not afterwards.

Current points depend on your prediction, the community's prediction, and the result. Your total earned points are averaged over the lifetime of the question, so predict early to get as many points as possible! See the FAQ.