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Counting the Cost

The US debt crisis: Mission postponed

As the federal government reopens and world markets breathe a sigh of relief, we look ahead to the next looming crisis.

Last Modified: 19 Oct 2013 07:43
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This week, the US Congress finally passed a measure to avert a threatened default and reopen the federal government, a move aimed at ending a prolonged crisis that has gripped the country and threatened the world economy.

World markets breathed a sigh of relief and Congress saved face, but little else. The debt-ceiling limit was raised, but not before Republicans and Democrats had taken the US into dangerous territory.

The US government finally reopened and federal employees were able to get back to work. But was it any more than a band-aid?

The deal raises the debt ceiling until February 7 and funds the government until January 15 - meaning that another shutdown could be on its way in just three months' time.

There were differing reactions to the deal.

Republican house leader John Boehner released a statement saying: "Our drive to stop the train wreck that is Obama's healthcare law will continue." While Barack Obama said: "I want to thank the leadership for coming together and getting this done. Hopefully, next time, it won't be in the 11th hour. One of the things that I said throughout this process is we've got to get out of the habit of governing by crisis."

The American people, however, were less impressed, with some telling us their politicians resembled bickering schoolchildren playing at politics.

Al Jazeera's White House correspondent Patty Culhane joins the show to discuss the debt crisis and what comes next.

Also on the show, for a long time Greece was the word when it came to economic news. Rarely out of the headlines - for debt problems, anti-government protests, austerity cuts or international bailouts - it has been a tough road.

The country's economy has contracted by a fifth since 2009. But in the second quarter of this year, it actually grew - albeit marginally - just as the eurozone as a whole clawed its way out of recession.
 
George Krastas, a specialist in sovereign funds, joins us from Athens to discuss the ongoing challenges facing the country.
 
Then Al Jazeera's Daniel Lak reports on the indigenous Inuit struggling with high food costs in Canada's eastern Arctic.

And finally, in China, growth is good at 7.8 percent for the third quarter. But is it good enough? Al Jazeera's Marga Ortigas visited Ghuangzhou at China's biggest trade fair for a closer look at the country's domestic business.

Watch each week at the following times GMT: Friday: 2230; Saturday: 0930; Sunday: 0330; Monday: 1630. Click here for more Counting the Cost.

Follow Kamahl Santamaria @KamahlAJE and business editor Abid Ali@abidoliverali

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Al Jazeera
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