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Hot Topic: Will Failure to Raise the Debt Ceiling Lead to an Economic Crisis?

The news these days is full of analyses giving us dire warnings of the consequences of blowing through the debt ceiling, currently at $16.7 trillion. The Treasury Department says that the government will reach the limit of its authority to borrow on October 17. After that, it's anybody's guess as to how bad it will be.

There are a few naysayers who play down the real-world effects of a default. There are some who say it is impossible for the U.S. to default on its obligations. However, there appears to be a rough agreement -- at least from professional money people -- that nothing much will happen right away but that the longer the crisis continues, the worse it will get.

You've heard from the pundits and the moneymen. Now it's your turn to sound off. Will failure to raise the debt ceiling lead to an economic crisis? Leave your thoughts below in the comments. If you haven't registered to comment yet, please take a few seconds to do so.