Treasury Confirms Debt Ceiling To Be Breached Today; Will Tap Pension Funds

Tyler Durden's picture

It's official: the US credit card has officially been maxed out, just as we predicted on Wednesday, and througout Q1 and Q2. The United States is expected to reach the legal limit on its debt later on Monday and will start dipping into federal retirement funds to give the country more room to borrow, a Treasury official said. As Reuters reports further, The U.S. Treasury will settle $72 billion in maturing bonds on Monday, which will push the country right up against its $14.294 trillion borrowing cap, the official said. To all those who thought only the insolvent government of Ireland will plunder pension funds, our condolences.

Full release (no pun intended):

As US Reaches Debt Limit, Geithner Implements Additional Extraordinary Measures to Allow Continued Funding of Government Obligations

Today, the United States has reached the statutory debt limit. Secretary Geithner sent the following letter
to Congress this morning alerting them to actions that have be taken to
create additional headroom under the debt limit so that Treasury can
continue funding obligations made by Congresses past and present. The
Secretary declared a "debt issuance suspension period" for the Civil
Service Retirement and Disability Fund, permitting Treasury to redeem a
portion of existing Treasury securities held by that fund as investments
and suspend issuance of new Treasury securities to that fund as
investments. He also suspended the daily reinvestment of Treasury
securities held as investments by the Government Securities Investment
Fund of the Federal Employees’ Retirement System Thrift Savings Plan.
For more information on these measures, please read this FAQ.

Last Friday, Secretary Geithner also responded to an inquiry from
Senator Bennet regarding the fiscal and economic consequences of failing
to increase the debt limit. That letter can be found here.

Secretary Geithner continues to urge Congress to raise the debt limit
in a timely manner in order to uphold the full faith and credit of the
United States.


The Honorable Harry Reid

Democratic Leader

United States Senate

Washington, DC 20510

Dear Mr. Leader:

I am writing to notify you, as required under 5 U.S.C. § 8348(l)(2),
of my determination that, by reason of the statutory debt limit, I will
be unable to invest fully the portion of the Civil Service Retirement
and Disability Fund (“CSRDF”) not immediately required to pay
beneficiaries. For purposes of this statute, I have determined that a
“debt issuance suspension period” will begin today, May 16, 2011, and
last until August 2, 2011, when the Department of the Treasury projects
that the borrowing authority of the United States will be exhausted.
During this “debt issuance suspension period,” the Treasury Department
will suspend additional investments of amounts credited to, and redeem a
portion of the investments held by, the CSRDF, as authorized by law.

In addition, I am notifying you, as required under 5 U.S.C. §
8438(h)(2), of my determination that, by reason of the statutory debt
limit, I will be unable to invest fully the Government Securities
Investment Fund (“G Fund”) of the Federal Employees’ Retirement System
in interest-bearing securities of the United States, beginning today,
May 16, 2011. The statute governing G Fund investments expressly
authorizes the Secretary of the Treasury to suspend investment of the G
Fund to avoid breaching the statutory debt limit.

Each of these actions has been taken in the past by my predecessors
during previous debt limit impasses. By law, the CSRDF and G Funds will
be made whole once the debt limit is increased. Federal retirees and
employees will be unaffected by these actions.

I have written to Congress on previous occasions regarding the
importance of timely action to increase the debt limit in order to
protect the full faith and credit of the United States and avoid
catastrophic economic consequences for citizens. I again urge Congress
to act to increase the statutory debt limit as soon as possible.



Timothy F. Geithner

Identical letter sent to:

The Honorable John A. Boehner, Speaker of the House

The Honorable Nancy Pelosi, House Democratic Leader

The Honorable Mitch McConnell, Senate Republican Leader

cc:       The Honorable Dave Camp, Chairman, House Committee on Ways and Means

The Honorable Sander M. Levin, Ranking Member, House Committee on Ways and Means

The Honorable Max Baucus, Chairman, Senate Committee on Finance

The Honorable Orrin Hatch, Ranking Member, Senate Committee on Finance

All other Members of the 112th Congress

Colleen Murray is Spokesperson for Domestic Finance.

Posted in:
 Debt Limit

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SheepDog-One's picture

Ohhhh sorry pensioners. We know you were hoping for a retirement without relying on cat food, but see the Bernank needs that money now to keep stocks levitated. Oh well, you can always move in with the kids it wont be all that bad, hell they live 15 to a room in China. Buck up, little retirees!

rocker's picture

Here in is possibly the long waited Black Swan.  First we will touch your S.S., then we will go for your 401K or IRA.

This alone should change market sentiment.

SheepDog-One's picture

Its well known, to some, as Ben Bernank already put forth the plans in a letter to take control 'plunder' 401K's and pensions...I think it ran on Zerohedge back then.

Ahmeexnal's picture

"Change you can believe in"

TheTmfreak's picture

I generally can't believe it, but they sure as hell can. Of course i'm speaking of the morality of their actions.

VyseLegendaire's picture

Lmao this is great, and far truer!

Thomas's picture

Does this mean they will be selling treasuries to make budget? Is that not a tacit monetary tightening? Are they not a complete bunch of assholes? (I only know the answer positively to one of the three.)

TruthInSunshine's picture
George Carlin – The American Dream

“But there’s a reason. There’s a reason. There’s a reason for this, there’s a reason education SUCKS, and it’s the same reason it will never … ever … EVER be fixed. It’s never going to get any better, don’t look for it, be happy with what you’ve got. … … … BECAUSE … THE OWNERS, OF THIS COUNTRY, DON’T WANT THAT! … … I’m talking about the real owners now … … … … … the BIG owners! … … … The Wealthy … … … … … the REAL owners! … The big wealthy business interests that control things … and make all the important decisions. … … … … Forget the politicians. They are irelevant. … … The politicians are put there to give you the idea that you have freedom of choice . . . … you dont. You have no choice! You have OWNERS! They OWN YOU. They own everything. They own all the important land. … They own and control the corporations. They’ve long since bought, and paid for the Senate, the Congress, the state houses, the city halls, they got the judges in their back pockets and they own all the big media companies, so they control just about all of the news and information you get to hear. … They got you by the balls. … … They spend billions of dollars every year lobbying … . . . lobbying, … to get what they want . . . … Well, we know what they want. They want more for themselves and less for everybody else, but Ill tell you what they don’t want . . . they don’t want a population of citizens capable of critical thinking. … … They don’t want well informed, well educated people capable of critical thinking. They’re not interested in that . . . that doesn’t help them. Thats against their interests. Thats right. … … They don’t want people who are smart enough to sit around a kitchen table and think about how badly they’re getting FUCKED by a system that threw them overboard 30 FUCKING years ago. … … They don’t want that! You know what they want? They want obedient workers . . . Obedient workers, people who are just smart enough to run the machines and do the paperwork. … And just dumb enough to passively accept all these increasingly shitty jobs with the lower pay, the longer hours, the reduced benefits, the end of overtime and vanishing pension that disappears the minute you go to collect it, and now they’re coming for your … Social Security money. … … … They want your retirement money. They want it back so they can give it to their criminal friends on Wall Street, and you know something? … … … They’ll get it . . . they’ll get it all from you sooner or later cause they own this FUCKING place! Its a big club, and you ain’t in it! … … … … You, and I, are not in The big club. By the way, its the same big club they use to beat you over the head with all day long when they tell you what to believe. All day long beating you over the head with their media telling you what to believe, what to think and what to buy. The table has tilted folks. The game is rigged and nobody seems to notice. Nobody seems to care! Good honest hard-working people . . . white collar, blue collar it doesn’t matter what color shirt you have on. Good honest hard-working people continue, these are people of modest means . . . continue to elect these rich COOK SUCKERS who don’t give a FUCK about you. They don’t give a FUCK about you . . . … they don’t give a FUCK about you. …. …. They don’t care about you at all . . . at all . . . at all, and nobody seems to notice. Nobody seems to care. Thats what the owners count on. The fact that Americans will probably remain willfully ignorant of the big red, white and blue dick thats being jammed up their assholes everyday, because the owners of this country know the truth. Its called the American Dream, … cause you have to be asleep to believe it . . .”



66Sexy's picture

+ the national debt

Fucking spot on, bro...

I agree with Mr Carlin's views on religion as well.

lynnybee's picture

dear TRUTHinSUNSHINE :   Thank you for posting the GEORGE CARLIN/AMERICAN DREAM .   thank you.    am printing it off & posting it on my refrig door with a magnet, never to take it down.    ....... i knew of George Carlin, but, i did not know he was so profound....more education for me !

Ben Dover's picture

spend part of an evening on YouTube checking out Mr. C's body of work. It will be an evening frittered away and well spent at the same time.

Solemn Simulacrum's picture

Yep, we definitely ain't in the club.  Can't even see over the fence.

RockyRacoon's picture

Oooh, I love multiple choice questions.   I say "D", all the above.

66Sexy's picture

Im surprised the DOW's not up 200 on the news.

Pensions to be depleted to drop bombs on brown people with oil. Pensions siphoned to suppress precious metals prices so the dollar looks good and keep the pretending going till 2012.

'Home of the brave' my ass....

'Home of the Slaves of the Corporate Dictatorship' more like it.

We Americans are good at one thing... encumbering the future to be rock stars and movie stars today...

I think we've all been conditioned to live like a botched suicide.


TheTmfreak's picture

It is moving up... the day isn't over.

However I think you should have said "I'm surprised the DOW isn't up just because its... well another day with money firehosed into it"

TruthInSunshine's picture


Break It Again, Timmmmay!!!!

Ben Dover's picture

would it really have been and better/different if the other guy had won?

Votewithabullet's picture

The bernank was appointed by W after all. How do you claim to be so different and you keep his Fed chair, defense (snicker) secretary, FBI chief. Same as it ever was. HT talking heads. Yeah i know it was post talking heads fuk you.

Smiddywesson's picture

The FERS system is the only 401K system that I know of that your employer holds onto the money and can dip into it any time they want. 

I noticed Timmy said his predecessors had done the same during previous budget battles, so nothing to see here, move along.

Sure Timmy, but the government wasn't bankrupt on those previous occasions.  When you son needs money to go to college is a very different situation then lending him money after he becomes a junkie.

TheTmfreak's picture

But we NEED it......


Or so they say.

redpill's picture

Just ridiculous political theater at this point. These assholes have planned to plunder retirement accounts all along, so that they are doing it now and not later makes little difference to them.

The heat just got turned up one more notch on the boiling frog that is the US populace.

TheTmfreak's picture

I dunno, I don't believe in the grand conspiracy. I'd say rather they don't give a fuck, don't plan, and blunder around aimlessly trying to patch things up regardless of whether it is moral or even legal (they'll turn it legal).

I think you give them way too much credit. Are some planning? Yeah sure why not. Most? No. Further with you giving them too much credit that "if they had only done things for the good, their central planning would have worked" seemingly is what you've trapped yourself into believing.

I prefer the idea, they're a bunch of thuggish moronic buffoons, who think centrally planning works (Because they sure as hell know how to fix things as long as you command the populace). They are constantly shown that more planning does not give better results, so they cover it up. Then they have to cover up the cover up.

Edit: Now if you're saying "planning it all along" as in, since this whole debt ceiling thing has been an issue, then yeah perhaps. (Taking it as a quick fix, rather than some sort of overarching evil conspiracy).

Rynak's picture

Neither. The problem lies in the word "they". People imagine "them" as one entity that plans all kinds of stuff.... usually one perfect plan, never a plan B (because they're so perfect).

I think it's much more simple and "normal": A bunch of groups and organizations, with LOTS of power, with each of them having "vague" longterm goals, and making midterm stuff up as they go. Then, add coordination between those groups (them regularily talking with each other), and you get an *emergent* "they" that seems to be super clever, when actually the individual parties just have lots of power, and do ad-hoc coordination.

Dingleberry Jones's picture

Agreed with the symbiosis of both of your guys' posts.



TheTmfreak's picture

This is what I was leaning towards.

I REALLY hate grouping things together and talking about them, especially if we are talking about specific things. We do it with nearly every single thing we ever talk about. (I am guilty of it clearly). "I hate what congress is doing!!!" So that means I hate Ron/Rand Paul?

I think exactly what you're saying is the case. I think mafia is always the best way to describe it. I have yet to find one analogy that doesn't fit the mafia description, other than the fact that the mafia doesn't have "legitamate ownership of force." (that way say the gov does).

However, there are different families with different and similar interests all fighting for power. They cut deals with each other and often disguise it as something else... yada yada yada.

I watched God Father 3 last night with my girlfriend, and yes it just fits all too well.


redpill's picture

I don't think it's necessarily a conspiracy, there's just the tendency of the political class to always keep an eye on what they are going to get their hands on next.  Retirement accounts are a juicy source of potential tax revenue that they always have had their eye on.


KickIce's picture

There's no Plan B because they are so far in the hole that any austerity will wreck the economy.  In other words, the government is the economy.  Our Congress have little power left as they have give it all to the CBs, Corporations and unions.  We have been sold down the river.

XPolemic's picture

I don't think it's necessarily a conspiracy, there's just the tendency of the political class to always keep an eye on what they are going to get their hands on next. 

Exactly! Or as Mr Burns once said "I'm a very rich man, but I would give it all away, for just a little more."

It's not really a plan, just an overiding sociopathy to always want more (And Alexanda wept, for there were no more worlds to conquer). When you spend a lifetime plundering and thieving, that's all you know how to do. Not so much a plan, as a process.

LaLiLuLeLo's picture

The sole purpose of the US government now is to prop up the illusion of control. Once the American people realize this, we'll finally have our long overdue revolution.

TheTmfreak's picture

No kidding. I try to tell people about this all the time, not to mention de-brainwash myself. The illusion of control and power. It is everywhere around you. Irrational beliefs about the way things "are." "Crimes are punished" and "if you do something bad you'll be caught by the law" are two that I talk about the most I think. We just have an entire system based on this, so therefore people are ok with remaining blissfully ignorant. All you have to do is insert every single regulation as an example and it is the same thing. Oh FDA is there to make sure when you consume food it is good for you. YUT OHHH.

Your username doesn't happen to be taken from Japanese does it?

Votewithabullet's picture

Thats not Japanese, Its Romulan for "put it in my ass DSK".

ibjamming's picture

These is no PLANNING beyond soaking the taxpayer to make some big bucks.

TheTmfreak's picture

I think there is planning but it never goes beyond "I'm planning to fix these problems by bringing in this law...." Then the next fart in the wind comes to distract them to the next discussion.

What happened to all of the ban every gun and "High Capacity Feeding Devices" after the Arizona Tuscon "Tragedy"? (All this attention over ONE fucking girl getting shot (nobody cares about the others). What about all the other people who are shot every day, AND DIE?) Oh right, earthquakes, budget, debt ceiling, OBL, IMF perv.....

monoloco's picture

It might get somebody's attention if they start plundering the congressional retirement system.

Ben Dover's picture

+1 - the plan needs to be fleshed out, but I like where your head is at.

I did it by Occident's picture

wonder how long it will take before they start to dip into or writing IOUs against the other FERS pots (C, F, S, I)?  I don't think it will take too long.  Of course writing IOUs against investments that are in the stock market can't be good for keeping the levitation machine going. 

nmewn's picture
;-) "Although the BlackRock funds operate in a manner similar to mutual funds, they are not, in fact, mutual funds and are not open to individual investors. Furthermore, they are trust funds that are regulated by the Comptroller of the Currency, not by the Securities and Exchange Commission, and therefore do not have ticker symbols." Ta daaa!
Cindy_Dies_In_The_End's picture

Actually, Jesse over at Cafe Americain thinks even that would give us about a year.

Birddog's picture

I have my silver coins in a roth.  I'm thinking about cashing out, pay the penalty and take possession...anyone's thoughts...???

UGrev's picture

You have to think about that? 

-disclaimer.. do whatever it is you want to do. my post is not advice and if you act upon it, it's your own choice. 

Shell Game's picture

Agree, I cannot give advice either.  I will share, however, that over a year ago I liquidated 50% of my IRAs, paid 10% penalty and used the cash to buy physical gold (edit: in my possession).

c-rev with a twist's picture

I actually think that's the best possible place for them as your gains are tax free.  I don't think the IRS is going anywhere, and them audits will be mighty painful for those who exchange their PMs for fiat.  If you're like many here and think that the currency is going away permanently, then getting them out of any IRA would be the way to go.  I feel this is all cyclical, but even if it isn't, will take a very long time to reach a point where the dollar is done.

Xanadu_doo's picture

Like many others below, that's just what I did, but make your own decision. For me, I see the dollar as losing value until reaching 0.00. This may takes years or it may take days. I for one sleep better with silver coins under my pillow.

Birddog's picture

I have my silver coins in a roth.  I'm thinking about cashing out, pay the penalty and take possession...anyone's thoughts...???

CPL's picture

Why would you put a PM under a paper vehicle like a ROTH?    Good lord.  There isn't any tax appreciated on owning the physical PM itself, just in the sale of it.  You unfortunately got suckered into holding worthless paper.


You might try to ask for delivery though, doubt it will happen with the Silver shortage going on.