Lagarde urges swift hike of US debt ceiling

The head of the International Monetary Fund is warning that if Congress fails to raise the debt ceiling the consequences could be severe not just for the US economy but for the global economy as well.

IMF Managing Director Christine Lagarde says that the ongoing political uncertainty in the United States over the federal government shutdown is bad enough but a failure to raise the government's borrowing limit when the current maximum is reached later this month would be far worse.

Lagarde calls it "mission-critical" that the fight over the debt ceiling be resolved as soon as possible.

Her remarks came in a speech at George Washington University in which she previewed next week's meetings of the IMF and World Bank.

- AP

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