Chief executives from the country's largest banks sent a letter to the White House and Congress Thursday urging them to reach an agreement the week of July 25 to raise the debt ceiling.
"A default on our nation's obligations, or a downgrade of America's credit rating, would be a tremendous blow to business and investor confidence - raising interest rates for everyone who borrows, undermining the value of the dollar, and roiling stock and bond markets - and, therefore, dramatically worsening our nation's already difficult economic circumstances," the letter said.
Banks have largely refrained from weighing in on the debt ceiling debate, fearing their input could undercut negotiations.
The letter, which was organized by the Financial Services Forum, was signed by Brian Moynihan of Bank of America; Vikram Pandit of Citigroup, Lloyd Blankfein of Goldman Sachs, Jamie Dimon of JPMorgan Chase; James Gorman of Morgan Stanley; State Street Corp. Chairman and CEO Joseph Hooley; U.S. Bancorp Chairman, President and CEO Richard Davis; Wells Fargo & Co. chairman and CEO John Stumpf; and BNY Mellon chairman and CEO Robert Kelly.
They warned that the consequences of inaction would be "very grave," and urged Congress to correct the country's fiscal course, inspire market confidence by paying all bills on time, and demonstrate that the country's leaders are capable of putting aside its differences to resolve this issue.
"A credible and predictable path forward, entailing tough decisions on the budget, will create the needed environment for businesses and entrepreneurs to start, grow, innovate, and create high quality jobs for Americans, now and in generations to come," they said.
The letter was also signed by Financial Services Forum President Robert Nichols, and other financial industry leaders, including Thomas Wilson, the chairman and CEO of Allstate Insurance Co., Jim Weddle, a managing partner with Edward Jones, Steven Kandarian, the president and CEO of MetLife; and John Strangfield, the chairman and CEO of Prudential Financial.