Debt ceiling black swan

The unlikely event of a U.S. debt default could lead to double-digit U.S. inflation, unemployment and GDP losses, and interest rates rising "into perpetuity," Treasury Secretary Yellen warned this week.

In essence, an "economic catastrophe."

That not-so-pleasant thought is why American lawmakers almost certainly won't let it happen. Although, that didn't stop Yellen from cautioning members of Congress—who like to use debt ceiling votes as bargaining chips for partisan agendas—to "not wait until the last minute" to act. Similar brinksmanship in 2011 led to Standard & Poor's downgrading the U.S. credit rating for the first time in history.

A theoretical jolt to Canada's mortgage market

We've received questions from readers on what a U.S. debt default could mean for Canada's mortgage industry. While consequences are impossible to predict with confidence, one can speculate on at least half a dozen possibilities:

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