What Would a US Default Look Like?

Nobody knows exactly when America would default on its bills if Congress fails to raise a cap on government borrowing. But the recent past gives a pretty good idea of how a default could unfold.
Even the Treasury Department can’t know how much tax revenue will come in each day after Oct.17, when it expects to hit its $16.7 trillion debt ceiling. Nor can officials anticipate exact costs, such as how many people will apply for jobless benefits that week.
Yet we can infer how …

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