President Obama on Tuesday said he cannot guarantee that retirees will receive their Social Security checks August 3 if Democrats and Republicans in Washington do not reach an agreement on reducing the deficit in the coming weeks.
"I cannot guarantee that those checks go out on August 3rd if we haven't resolved this issue. Because there may simply not be the money in the coffers to do it," Mr. Obama said in an interview with CBS Evening News anchor Scott Pelley, according to excerpts released by CBS News.
The Obama administration and many economists have warned of economic catastrophe if the United States does not raise the amount it is legally allowed to borrow by August 2.
Lawmakers from both parties want to use the threat of that deadline to work out a broader package on long-term deficit reduction, with Republicans looking to cut trillions of dollars in federal spending, while Democrats are pushing for a more "balanced approach," which would include both spending cuts and increased revenue through taxes.
Bank of America Increases Italy, Spain Bet by $888 Million
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May 5 (Bloomberg) -- Bank of America Corp., the largest U.S. lender by assets, increased its wagers in Italy and Spain by $888 million in the three months ended March 31.
Non-sovereign exposure to Italy climbed by $582 million, and the figure increased by $306 million in Spain, according to a regulatory filing today from the Charlotte, North Carolina- based company.
U.S. banks including JPMorgan Chase & Co. and Bank of America are evaluating their investments in Europe after government deficits led to bailouts of nations including Greece and Portugal. JPMorgan Chief Executive Officer Jamie Dimon said last month the potential rewards of investing in Europe outweigh the risk of losing about $3 billion if the countries default.
“Certain European countries, including Greece, Ireland, Italy, Portugal and Spain, are currently experiencing varying degrees of financial stress,” Bank of America said today in its quarterly filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. “Italy and Spain are currently experiencing the least financial stress among these countries.”
Bank of America's non-sovereign exposure to Italy climbed to $5.85 billion as of March 31 from $5.27 billion three months earlier. The figure in Spain jumped to $5.46 billion.
“We continue to support our clients in these countries while also carefully managing risk,” Jerry Dubrowski, a spokesman for the lender, said in an e-mail. “The vast majority of our exposure in these countries is client-driven. In addition, our exposure in these countries needs to be viewed in the context of a $1 trillion loan portfolio, and when you do that it's clear that the exposure is quite small.”