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What is the debt ceiling?

As America's government hits the debt ceiling, US politics has become a multi-trillion dollar game of chicken. If neither side backs down, America could default on its debts for the first time in history, sparking global economic turmoil. What is the debt ceiling, and how can this crisis be resolved?

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The Economist offers authoritative insight and opinion on international news, politics, business, finance, science, technology and the connections between them.
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