POLITICS

Wall Street Pleads With GOP To Put The Debt Ceiling Gun Down

Beijing, CHINA:  Frank Keating, president and CEO of the American Council of Life Insurers (ACLI), whose 373 member companies
Beijing, CHINA: Frank Keating, president and CEO of the American Council of Life Insurers (ACLI), whose 373 member companies account for 93 percent of the life insurance industry's total assets in the United States, talks to the press in Beijing 25 January 2007. China removed limits on where foreign insurers could operate in 2004 in compliance with commitments made at its entry into the World Trade Organization five years ago, and in the past five years, total foreign investment in China's insurance sector was over 60 billion yuan (7.7 billion USD). AFP PHOTO (Photo credit should read STR/AFP/Getty Images)

A former GOP governor and major voice for Wall Street minced no words on Friday about the repercussions the United States would face for defying the debt ceiling.

In a Washington Post op-ed, President & CEO of the American Bankers Association Frank Keating expressed how grave a decision it would be for Congress to default on its nearly $17 trillion in debt.

"Using the debt ceiling as leverage in the deficit debate is unwise and dangerous," Keating wrote. "Citizens nationwide are frustrated with the political stalemate in Washington. But our nation’s financial integrity should not be used as a bargaining chip."

In his role at the ABA, Keating leads the 135-year-old association, speaking for banks of all sizes and charters in the $13 trillion industry. Additionally, Keating has served on the Bipartisan Policy Center's Debt Reduction Task Force -- a group of former cabinet members, officials and other sources from both parties that made recommendations for reducing the U.S.' fiscal troubles.

During his time in politics, Keating was governor of Oklahoma for two terms (1995-2003), leading the state through the Oklahoma City bombing tragedy. In the Washington Post op-ed, he notes that honoring fiscal obligations are not a partisan issue, referring how he balanced his state's budget for eight years running.

"As George Washington said, 'No pecuniary consideration is more urgent than the regular redemption and discharge of the public debt; on none can delay be more injurious, or an economy of the time more valuable,'" Keating wrote.

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