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How does the federal government shutdown affect businesses and capital markets

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Due to the U.S. government shutdown beginning on October 1, 2013; many departments and agencies are affected by the shutdown. If the shutdown is prolonged it may impact state and local governments and their respective economies in more material ways. We have listed several departments and agencies that are involved with the capital markets in various ways.

On October 1, 2013, the CME Group released a letter stating how a prolonged government shutdown could impact the futures markets. “A prolonged shutdown of the federal government and furloughing of USDA staff could result in interruptions or gaps in reporting key agricultural pricing information from the USDA's Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS).”

The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) within the Depart of Labor noted on their website the following: “This website is currently not being updated due to the suspension of Federal government services. The last update to the site was Monday, September 30. During the shutdown period BLS will not collect data, issue reports, or respond to public inquiries. Updates to the site will start again when the Federal government resumes operations. Revised schedules will be issued as they become available.”

This means the jobs data for September will not be released on October 4, 2013 if the shutdown continues to that time.

The Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) stated their operations will be reduced during the shutdown. The CFTC noted on their website “The U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission will not produce public reports such as the cotton on call, Commitment of Traders and the Bank Participation Report during a government shutdown.”

The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has stated the following on their website “The SEC is open and operational during the federal government’s lapse in appropriations. Any changes to the SEC's operational status will be announced on this website. The operational plan in the event of an SEC shutdown at a later date”

The Small Business Administration (SBA) will close activities related to new applications for small business loans and loan guarantees during the shutdown.

Other departments related to the capital markets include:

Department of Commerce

Department of Labor

Depart of the Treasury

Federal Trade Commission

For a full list of contingency plans related to the shutdown of government departments and agencies click here

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