Wall Street leaders to meet with Obama as budget crisis looms

The chief executives of large banks including Goldman Sachs Group Inc. will meet with President Barack Obama this week as Wall Street urges Congress to end the budget stalemate in Washington.

The Oct. 2 White House visit, confirmed by three people familiar with the schedule, was set up by the Financial Services Forum, a trade group representing the CEOs of the 19 largest banking and insurance firms. The executives are also set to meet with Treasury Secretary Jacob Lew and several lawmakers.

The CEOs plan to discuss the White House’s negotiations with Congress over funding the government and raising the debt ceiling, said the people, who spoke on condition of anonymity because details of the meeting were still being worked out. Unless the Republican-controlled House and Democratic-controlled Senate come to an agreement by midnight tonight, much of the government will shut down. Congress will then have a matter of weeks to approve a measure increasing the amount the U.S. can borrow or risk a default.

While many Wall Street firms have kept a low profile in Washington following the 2008 financial crisis, some big-bank CEOs have been speaking out on the economic danger posed by a prolonged political battle over fiscal issues. Goldman Sachs’s Lloyd Blankfein, chairman of the Financial Services Forum, warned in a talk last week at the Clinton Global Initiative that the budget standoff was harming the U.S. economy and markets.

Remove ‘Threat’

The forum was also one of several industry trade associations that signed a letter by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and 250 business groups last week urging Congress to fund the government and “raise the debt ceiling in a timely manner and remove any threat to the full faith and credit of the United States.”

Blankfein is expected to attend the Obama meeting, the people said. JPMorgan Chase &Co.’s Jamie Dimon, Citigroup Inc.’s Michael Corbat, Deutsche Bank AG’s Anshu Jain and Bank of America Corp.’s Brian Moynihan are also among the invited CEOs. Laena Fallon, a spokeswoman for the forum, declined to comment.

Dimon, whose bank faces of series of regulatory and law enforcement probes, was in Washington last week to discuss settling several mortgage cases with Attorney General Eric Holder at the Justice Department headquarters.

Along with Obama and Lew, the Wall Street chiefs are scheduled to talk with Mike Crapo, the senior Republican on the Senate Banking Committee and Jeb Hensarling, the Republican chairman of the House Financial Services Committee, industry officials said.

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