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US default watch: Are we headed for financial catastrophe?

That depends on who you ask. Here's a web-wide round-up of the latest thinking.
Lightning strike franceEnlarge
A thunderbolt lights up the sky above Chisseaux, France on July 8, 2010 (Alain Jocard/AFP/Getty Images)

Tick, tock, tick, tock.

It was a frustrating weekend for anyone paying attention to Washington D.C.

High stakes talks to raise the U.S. debt ceiling in an effort to prevent the potentially calamitous economic impact of a U.S. debt default ran headlong into rigid ideology, factional party discord and election politics. 

In other words, it's a mess. 

To help you prepare for what promises to be another week of nail-biting and worry, here's a handy guide to some of the best coverage so far of this story. 

The New York Times has the latest on rival debt plans, as well as a smart take on how global investment sentiment is playing into the Washington talks. 

The Associated Press offered this take on Europe's reaction to the drama in Washington:

"Common sense decrees that some kind of an increase is likely at the 12th hour, but as with the Europeans, the inability to act more quickly and more decisively is confidence-sapping," Kit Juckes, an analyst at SG Securities told the AP.

The Financial Times published a handy story yesterday about how U.S. states are planning for the worst, as well as a brainy and dry video (read: two guys in suits sitting in a studio) on how U.S. politicians are "playing chicken with America's future."

Business Insider is focusing on the plunge today in the U.S. dollar verus the Swiss Franc

So how should President Obama and Republican leaders sort out this mess? 

Check out GlobalPost's new editorial feature The Negotiator, which puts that key question to Wharton's negotiation guru Stuart Diamond. 

Tick, tock, tick, tock. 

http://www.globalpost.com/dispatches/globalpost-blogs/macro/default-watch-are-we-headed-financial-catastrophe