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JIM HENRY

Auto financing dodges a bullet

Jim Henry is a special correspondent for Automotive News

The auto industry appears to have dodged a bullet with the 11th-hour deal that kept the U.S. government from defaulting on its debts.

If the feds had defaulted, the immediate fallout probably would have included an uptick in interest rates. That would have made auto loans more expensive, not to mention making borrowing costlier for dealers, suppliers and the factories.

Higher rates almost certainly would torpedo auto sales, which are recovering, even if they're not recovering as quickly as the industry would like.

It would be too much to say that cooler heads prevailed because the political rhetoric around the debt debate was anything but cool. Still, the result is better than a default.

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