Obama comments on debt ceiling, Treasury warning rattle markets

The Dow Jones Industrial Average dropped more than 180 points Thursday after President Obama suggested Wall Street should be worried about the government shutdown and debt limit.


The blue-chip stock index dropped below 15,000 during morning trading Thursday, as a government shutdown and looming fight over raising the $16.7 trillion borrowing cap weighed on investors.

The NASDAQ and S&P 500 also both fell more than 1 percent, in the worst stretch of trading since the government closed its doors Oct. 1.

On Thursday, the Treasury Department issued a report warning of potential economic catastrophe if the debt limit is not raised by Oct. 17. 

The resulting financial and economic turmoil could drive up borrowing costs across the nation, bite into the stock market and lead to a worse recession than the one caused by the 2008 financial crisis, the department warned.

And that report came in the wake of remarks from President Obama, where he directly told Wall Street it should fret about the debt limit fight. When asked during a CNBC interview if markets were right to remain relatively calm during the debt limit, the president said, "No."

"I think this time's different. I think they should be concerned," he said, adding that the crisis was being driven by Republicans who were "willing potentially to default on U.S. government obligations."