Speaker Boehner is beginning to resemble the infamous Roman Emperor Nero who allegedly played with his fiddle while Rome nearly burned to the ground. He was supposed to have some kind of agreement with the Senate about a path forward by 4pm today so he could calm the Asian stock markets before they opened at 5pm. Instead, he had a conference call with his caucus at 4:30. Amazingly, he did the opposite of what needed to be done. He called on his caucus to stick together. That’s precisely wrong. What he needed to do is issue an ultamatum that divides his caucus between those who are willing to default on our debt and kill our credit rating, and those who are willing to call it a day in the interest of our country. His conference call produced nothing but a recipe for disaster. And, sure enough, the Asian markets were not impressed:

U.S. stock futures fell, indicating the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index will slump after rallying within 1.4 percent of a three-year high, as failure to raise the federal debt limit intensified concern of a default.

S&P 500 futures expiring in September declined 1.1 percent to 1,325.80 at 7:03 a.m. in Tokyo. Dow Jones Industrial Average futures lost 131 points, or 1 percent, to 12,490. The U.S. dollar fell against the euro, yen and Swiss franc.

House Speaker John Boehner told Republicans that there’s no agreement on a plan for raising the ceiling before a default threatened for Aug. 2. A Republican congressional official said Boehner, speaking by telephone to lawmakers, is reporting that discussions are continuing. The impasse has boosted the chance S&P will cut the U.S. credit rating from AAA within three months to 50 percent, the company said July 21.

“There’s a real risk for the markets and the economy,” Peter Sorrentino, a senior money manager at Huntington Asset Advisors in Cincinnati, said in a telephone interview. The firm oversees $14.8 billion. “The market just cannot let go of the fears about creditworthiness and liquidity.”

Why is Boehner still dicking around? Is he fucking drunk?