Clearing firms are preparing their clients for a potential federal default as government officials continue to seek an agreement on the budget. Sources say both Citigroup and State Street may impose limits on the use of short-term U.S. Treasury bills that are set to mature on Oct. 24 or Oct. 31. However, according to CME Group's clearinghouse officials, if the U.S. defaults it would be a "technical, short-term issue."

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