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Continued: CEOs seek fiscal crisis solution

  • Article by: JIM SPENCER , Star Tribune
  • Last update: October 14, 2013 - 10:47 AM

A letter to the Senate and House signed by 326 organizations including local Chambers of Commerce in Minneapolis, St. Cloud, Dakota County, Fairmont, Rochester, Monticello and Brainerd Lakes called on Congress to raise the debt ceiling “in a timely manner” and “remove any threat to the full faith and credit of the United States government.”

Some executives think the consequences of not doing that are so significant that a deal will come together in time.

“The U.S. dollar is the world’s reserve currency, and the interest rates on the U.S. dollar set benchmark interest rates for a host of other securities,” said CEO Greg Page of Minnetonka-based Cargill. “The probable impacts of a default are not easy to determine, but we expect they will reach beyond the U.S. economy. For that reason, we believe the debt ceiling will be resolved.”

At Dunn Bros. Franchising, a small business that owns and franchises coffee shops, co-CEO Chris Eilers says consumer confidence remains shaky enough to be vulnerable to the mere hint of trouble.

“Any significant change in consumer confidence at this point in our recovery could throw our economy into another recessionary tailspin,” Eilers said. “Uncertainty and fear are very bad for the hospitality businesses.”

Default would be so bad for Minnesota businesses that the state’s executives will continue to sound alarms.

Wells Fargo & Co. CEO John Stumpf, whose bank employs more than 20,000 in Minnesota, called on lawmakers to “break the logjam.”

Staff writers Jennifer Bjorhus, Jackie Crosby, Mike Hughlett and Neal St. Anthony contributed to this report.

Jim Spencer • 202-383-6123

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