But speaking to reporters outside the
"You can litigate these policy issues, you can relitigate these policy issues in a political forum, but you shouldn't use the threat of causing the U.S. to fail on its obligations to repay the debt as a cudgel," Blankfein said after the noontime meeting.
The meetings were organized by the Financial Services Forum, a Washington-based trade group.
Moynihan said failing to raise the debt limit would be more damaging than the government shutdown, noting the financial market turmoil and economic hit that accompanied the last major fight over the issue in 2011.
"There's no debate that the seriousness of the U.S. not paying its debts, whether it's Social Security checks, small business loans … all the way up to the Treasury notes and bills, is the most serious thing we have," Moynihan told reporters after the meeting.
Blankfein noted there have been government shutdowns before, but never a federal default.
"There's precedent for a government shutdown. There's no precedent for default," Blankfein said.
"We're the most important economy in the world. We're the reserve currency of the world. Payments have to go out to people. If money doesn't flow in, money doesn't flow out," he said. "So we really haven't seen this before, and I'm not anxious to be part of the process that witnesses it."