This from Q&A following Bernanke testimony:

Barney Frank: Do you think there is any realistic prospect of America’s defaulting on its debt in the near future?

Bernanke: Not unless Congress decides not to pay….

4 Responses

  1. Bernanke and Barney here make it sound like Congress has to appropriate interest on the debt every year…apparently wrong again. From Wikipedia: “Funds to make federal interest payments have been automatically appropriated since 1847.” There probably has not been an appropriations bill that authorized interest payments on treasury securities since 1847.

    So Congress hasnt decided one way or the other (to pay or not to pay) since 1847. Bernankes apparent ignorance is scaring me again.

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