ECB's Draghi says long US debt standoff could cause damage


NEW YORK, Oct 10 (Reuters) - European Central Bank PresidentMario Draghi said on Thursday that a prolonged U.S. debtstandoff could hurt the global economy.

A debt impasse lasting for weeks or even months could cause"severe damage" to the U.S. and global economies, said Draghi,speaking before the Economic Club of New York ahead of attendingthe weekend meetings of the International Monetary Fund andWorld Bank in Washington.

The U.S. federal government has been largely shut down thismonth as Republicans in Congress want to undermine PresidentBarack Obama's signature healthcare act as a condition offunding government operations.

In addition, the U.S. government is expected to hit itsborrowing limit by Oct. 17 but a divided Congress might proveunable to raise that ceiling. That, in turn, raises the specterof a default.

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