Add Neel Kashkari to the all-star lineup saying a failure to raise the U.S. debt ceiling would be “catastrophic.”
Kashkari, the former bailout overseer who now is leading an equity sales push at fund manager Pimco, said on Bloomberg television Tuesday that the government’s failure to get its spending under control is the biggest systemic risk in the financial world today.
He called on politicians to “come together to deal with this problem once and for all.” Good luck on that, obviously.
The view that the fight over the debt ceiling is shaping up as the mother of all train wrecks is becoming more popular, in spite of the Republican line that raising the ceiling would be worse. Witness the rise of the euro against the dollar even as Portugal reaches for a new bailout, for instance.
And terrifyingly, it is looking less likely with each passing day that the cooler heads, wherever they are, will prevail.
Anyway, in calling a possible U.S. default catastrophic, Kashkari joins this august group:
- Jan. 2: White House economic adviser Austan Goolsbee
- Jan. 6: Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner
- Jan. 12: U.S. Rep. Phil Roe, R-Tenn.
- Feb. 3: Federal Reserve chief Ben Bernanke
- April 10: Obama political adviser David Plouffe
- April 12: Kashkari
It is only a month till the government bumps up against the official ceiling, and maybe two months after that till Geithner runs out of Robert Rubinesque tricks to keep the money coming in. It will be interesting to see who joins the list as the unhappy day approaches.
Also on Fortune.com:
- Pimco betting against U.S. debt
- Gross calls U.S. budget a Greek tragedy
- Gross calls for bond market turkey shoot
Follow me on Twitter @ColinCBarr.