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US leaders seeking a budget compromise that would avoid a default have no need for outside lectures, German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble said late Friday.
"They don't need a lecture. They just need the force to come to an agreement," Schaeuble said at a news briefing after a finance meeting of the world's major economies in Washington.
Speaking after the Group of 20 issued a statement calling for the US to take "urgent action to address short-term fiscal uncertainties," the German finance minister echoed other officials' concerns about a default if the gridlocked Congress fails to lift the $16.7 trillion debt limit.
According to the US Treasury, the government will run out of cash to pay all its bills by October 17, forcing a first-ever default by the world's largest economy.
"Of course I am worried. But we all hope that they will make it," Schaeuble said.
"A default of the United States is actually unthinkable. The consequences are hard to calculate," he said, adding that, if it happened, "Europe would probably not be hit the hardest."