Mark McSherry-Forbes-10/7/13

As global financial markets head into a second week of a partial U.S. Government shutdown, with a debt default still a technical possibility, investors have to hope that Winston Churchill was wrong about Americans.

“You can always count on Americans to do the right thing — after they’ve tried everything else,” is a famous quote, versions of which have been attributed to the great British leader a million times. (Citation below from U.S. National Churchill Museum)

Churchill’s mother came from Brooklyn, New York, so he had some insight.

Well, the global securities markets really don’t have the time for politicians inWashington to exhaust all the alternatives before reaching a budget deal to re-open Government and an agreement to raise the $16.7 trillion debt ceiling that would be breached around October 17.

Exhausting the alternatives could cause mayhem in the world’s financial system. Global securities markets are so interconnected that they need Americans to do the right thing as soon as possible.

There were already signs at the weekend that some Republicans might be softening in their demands for a bargain, so let’s trust that Churchill was ultimately wrong on this one.

But U.S. stock index futures fell early on Monday and shares in Asia and Europe were lower as the stalemate on a U.S. budget and the debt ceiling continued.

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“Leave the past to history especially as I propose to write that history myself.”

Winston S. Churchill