After meeting for exactly 75 minutes, the president and members of congress achieved absolutely nothing except for what ZH readers already knew: that a debt deal has to be reached by July 22 or else. "President Barack Obama said Sunday that "we need to" work out a debt deal within the next 10 days as he convened a meeting with congressional leaders, aiming to fashion a deficit reduction package for the next 10 years. As the meeting opened, Obama and the leaders sat around the table in Sunday casual dress. Asked whether the White House and Congress could "work it out in 10 days," Obama replied, "We need to." Despite Boehner's preference for a smaller, $2 trillion plan for deficit reduction, White House aides said Sunday that Obama would press the lawmakers to accept the larger deal. Republicans object to its substantial tax increases and Democrats dislike its cuts to programs for seniors and the poor. The aides, however, left room for negotiations on a more modest approach." And just like on Friday when the president's appearance was heralded as a harbinger of a massive NFP beat only to be the biggest let down since Geithner's TV appearances in February which sent the market down by 10 S&P points each time, so the president will address the nation tomorrow. From Reuters: "U.S. President Barack Obama will hold a news conference at 11 a.m. EDT (1500 GMT) on Monday about the status of negotiations to cut the deficit and raise the debt ceiling, the White House said on Sunday. Obama met with congressional leaders for about 75 minutes Sunday evening and will meet again with them on Monday "to discuss the ongoing efforts to find a balanced approach to deficit reduction," the White House said, without giving a time for that session."
More from the AP:
"He's not someone to walk away from a tough fight," White House chief of staff William Daley said. "Everyone agrees that a number around $4 trillion is the number that will ... make a serious dent in our deficit." But embedded among the tough words was rhetoric that acknowledged the "big deal's" prospects had become uncertain at best.
"We're going to try to get the biggest deal possible," said Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner.
It was an abrupt change from 24 hours earlier. Republicans late Saturday rejected the $4 trillion proposal, the largest of three under consideration, because its tax increases would doom it in the GOP-led House, Speaker John Boehner said.
The Ohio Republican informed Obama that a package of about $2 trillion, which bipartisan negotiators had identified but not agreed to, was more realistic.
Senate GOP leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky left little doubt that the $4 trillion deal was dead.
"I think it is," McConnell said. Raising taxes amid 9.2 percent unemployment, he added, "is a terrible idea. It's a job killer."
The statements threw into question the extent to which the Sunday meeting, called for 6 p.m. EDT, would move the talks toward a resolution as an Aug. 2 deadline loomed. That's when the nation would begin to default on its debts, administration officials say, if no deal is reached to raise the borrowing limit from $14.3 trillion.
One thing is certain: with each passing day until July 22 or T-Day, the day by which Congress has to pass the debt ceiling legislation, of which there are precisely 10 working days, the market, which has so far completely ignored any concern about a failure in the debt talks, will start getting increasingly more nervous. As a reminder there is a 4 week Bill auction this Tuesday: the last one priced at 0.000%. If the logjam in DC continues after Monday, something tells us the government will not get ultra short-term funding for free.
As for the spin free interpretation of what the "deficit deal" means for America, read our previous observations on the matter here.