Is the U.S. sliding into an inability to pay? Until now, common sense has said no to the apocalyptic vision for global financial markets based on past experiences. But common sense is no longer applicable when one views the budget fight between the world power’s representatives of the people.

Only a few days remain to avoid disaster. The hope for a solution, however, did not become substantially greater over the weekend. Although the Republicans have long blocked and set unacceptable conditions for the Democrats in regard to healthcare reform, now Barack Obama of all people is proving to be the greatest obstacle for at least a short-term solution by which they could buy time.

The U.S. president is presently acting like a sulky child, although the Republicans have approached him with a serious offer: an agreement to increase the debt limit for the next weeks; in return they want to speak about long-term savings that the U.S. cannot get around anyway.

Yet Obama hesitates; only interested in maximum damage to his opposition’s image. Appalled, representatives of the International Monetary Fund also watched this ideological intractability at their yearly meeting. The U.S. is presently involved in disgracing itself to the core internationally — and is also putting the stability of globally interconnected markets at risk.