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John Boehner Decides Maybe U.S. Shouldn't Default On Its Debt

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Someone Capitol Hill has maybe, possibly come to his senses, and it's House Speaker John Boehner, who upon careful reflection has apparently decided that Obamacare is not, in fact, worse than forcing the first-ever U.S. sovereign debt default. He feels so strongly about it, in fact, that he'll even break the sacrosanct Hastert Rule, a doctrine that House Republicans rank between the Bible and the Constitution in importance, to avoid it.

One lawmaker, who spoke on the condition of anonymity, said Mr. Boehner had indicated he would be willing to violate the so-called Hastert Rule if necessary to pass a debt-limit increase. The informal rule refers to a policy of not bringing to the floor any measure that does not have a majority of Republican votes….

It is conceivable that Mr. Boehner could pass a debt-limit increase with a slim majority of Republican votes, and Democrats making up the difference, as he has in the past on budget measures. In meetings with Republican lawmakers, the speaker appeared to be offering reassurances to members worried about the government shutdown that he would not allow a default to take place.

Other Republicans also said Thursday that they got the sense that Mr. Boehner would do whatever was necessary to ensure that the country did not default on its debt.

So no U.S. default—but also, contrary to earlier indications, no jobs report tomorrow. (The Labor Department is working today, apparently, as is Challenger, Gray & Christmas, a firm I did not just make up.)

The department is definitively ruling out that the report could be released Friday under any circumstance, including if lawmakers strike a deal Thursday.

“Due to the lapse in funding, the Employment Situation release which provides data on employment during the month of September… will not be issued as scheduled on Friday,” the department said in a press release. “An alternative release date has not been scheduled.”

And maybe no USDA crop report next week.

Commodities analysts said Wednesday that it appears increasingly unlikely the USDA will release its monthly supply-and-demand report on its scheduled date of Oct. 11.

Most USDA employees who are responsible for collecting and aggregating the data used in the monthly report have been furloughed since Tuesday….

Every month, the USDA's World Agricultural Supply and Demand Estimates, known in the industry as "the WASDE," draws significant attention from traders and analysts. The October report holds particular interest because it comes while farmers are harvesting corn and soybean crops, providing the market with fresh insight on expected production and supply levels.

And certainly no help with the CFTC's hastily-implemented new swaps-trading rules.

After wrangling for months with U.S. regulators over new swaps-trading rules, banks, brokers and investors had a new grievance Wednesday as the regulations took effect: The Commodity Futures Trading Commission's out-of-office message was on.

Market participants groused that the agency wasn't available for guidance following a raft of clarifications on the new rules in recent weeks.

On the bright side, the shutdown will not keep the president from racking his brain for reasons not to name Janet Yellen the next Fed chair.

President Barack Obama said the decision on a nominee to become Federal Reserve chairman hasn’t been slowed by the standoff on the budget and the partial government shutdown.

In a recorded interview with CNBC, Obama said the selection process to replace Fed Chairman Ben S. Bernanke is proceeding. He didn’t give any indication of who he is considering.

Boehner Tells Republicans He Won't Let the National Default [NYT]
Labor Department Confirms No Jobs Report Friday [WSJ Real Time Economics blog]
U.S. jobless claims show job market healing but service sector slows [Reuters]
U.S. planned layoffs fall 20 pct in September: Challenger [Reuters]
Shutdown Leaves Key USDA Report in Question [WSJ]
CFTC Is Away as New Swap Rules Take Effect [WSJ]
Obama Says Fed Chairman Selection Not Slowed by Federal Shutdown [Bloomberg]



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