The United States could be set to resolve its long-running debt ceiling crisis, with Republican Senate leader Mitch McConnell saying that a deal is “very close” to be struck.
Congress has until tomorrow to lift the US’ $14.3 trillion debt ceiling to avoid a default – a prospect that has impacted world markets and caused concern among Australian business groups.
Republicans and Democrats appeared to be at an impasse over conflicting plans to reduce the deficit. However, Democratic Senate majority leader Harry Reid said that he was “cautiously optimistic” that a deal could be done.
Rann agrees to step down
Mike Rann, the South Australia Premier, has agreed to stand down in order to avoid a leadership spill.
Rann, who has been Premier of the state since 2002, said he would hand over to education minister Jay Weatherill after a transitory period. He said that he wanted to conclude a deal with BHP Billiton for South Australia’s Olympic Dam expansion before stepping down.
Apple holding more cash than the US
The scale of the US’ economic malaise, and Apple’s extraordinary growth, has been illustrated by the fact that the tech giant now holds more operating cash than the US Government.
While the US treasury has an operating balance of $73.7 billion, Apple’s latest figures put its cash reserves at $76.4 billion.
The Dow Jones industrial average dipped 96.87 points to 12,143.24. The Australian dollar was down to 109.54 US cents.