LONDON (Reuters) - Right-wing "nutters" in the United States Congress holding up a deal to prevent a catastrophic debt default are a greater risk to the global financial system than problems in the euro zone, a British minister said Sunday.
Business Secretary Vince Cable said "irresponsible" people who had been gleefully anticipating the collapse of the euro currency had been confounded after European leaders agreed a second rescue package for debt-stricken Greece last week.
"The irony of the situation at the moment, with markets opening tomorrow morning, is that the biggest threat to the world financial system comes from a few right-wing nutters in the American congress rather than the euro zone," he told BBC television.
Cable, a former economist known for speaking his mind, has previously denounced bankers as "spivs and gamblers."
Last December he was removed from his role overseeing News Corp's bid for all of British pay TV firm BSkyB after being recorded saying he had "declared war" on News Corp chief Rupert Murdoch.
The U.S. Congress is seeking to hammer out a deficit deal and assure investors before Asian markets open that America can avert a default and hold onto its prized credit rating.
The United States will run out of funds to service its debt on August 2 if Congress does not approve additional borrowing.
Republicans have insisted the White House agree to deep spending cuts for long-term deficit reduction before they approve any increase in America's debt burden.
(Reporting by Tim Castle; Editing by Erica Billingham)