But the group noted that the timing of Treasury's announcements will be key if it has to delay a payment. Translation: Early notice will minimize potential disruptions. But the mere fact of a missed payment is likely to upset investors and have negative knock-on effects.
What's the break-the-glass plan? President Barack Obama has said the White House and Treasury are planning for "all contingencies." Neither he nor Lew has yet detailed what those plans entail. Perhaps they will soon. But Obama warned that none of them are good options.
The expectation is that Treasury will do what it can to make sure bond investors are paid in full and on time. But Treasury has not said so, and to the contrary has said it will be very hard to prioritize payments to anyone.
There is also some speculation that Obama may act unilaterally to authorize Treasury to continue borrowing. The White House has pushed back against that idea, noting that it would be legally controversial and could call into question the legitimacy of the debt Treasury is issuing.