How to Avoid Another Financial Meltdown

Even if Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner doesn’t step down after the default crisis passes, he will probably need some sort of break. Though Geithner and others have said that August 2 is the absolute deadline to raise the debt ceiling and there is nothing Treasury can do beyond that point to prevent a default, rumor has it that officials have been secretly meeting to figure out a way to head off a real crisis. Ideas on the table: delay outstanding payments, ignore Congress and invoke the 14th Amendment, use the Fed as a broker. Of course, everyone is still hoping Congress can get its act together and come to a budget agreement.

For a while now, Al Shabab has banned aid groups from operating in Somalia, which has had near-disastrous consequences. Somalis are now dealing with a serious drought and food shortage. And the terrorist group has responded to the crisis situation by asking for help. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton is ready to see if Al Shabab will make good on its vow to let aid back in. State spokeswoman Victoria Nuland said that the secretary of state told her staff to look into ways to prevent “another massive humanitarian catastrophe.”

Clinton is scheduled to meet with her Russian counterpart, Sergei Lavrov, during his trip to Washington next week. Lavrov, who will also sit down with President Obama, will push Russia’s case for WTO admission.

And a slew of U.S. current and former officials will be heading to Africa to attend a ceremony marking South Sudan’s independence. After a referendum vote on the issue, South Sudan is set to become independent this Saturday, July 9, though fighting continues along South Sudan’s northern border with Sudan. U.S. envoy to the United Nations Susan Rice, Colin Powell, U.S. special envoy to Sudan Princeton Lyman and others will attend the ceremony.