Treasury Continues To Dip Into Retirement Accounts, Prepares To "Take Out" $66 Billion Chunk To Make Room For New Bond Issuance

Tyler Durden's picture

Today, very quietly, the Treasury released its latest refunding announcement,
in which it disclosed it would issue another $66 billion in 3, 10 and
30 Year notes next week. The irony of course is that the US is and
continues to be at its debt ceiling limit (or just $25 million short of
it), at a total of $14,293,975 million. Furthermore, as was also
disclosed by the Treasury, this gross issuance will also be the net
amount added in marketable debt, as upon settlement on June 15, there will be no redemptions of maturing bonds. Which simply means that the continued "disinvesting" (which is merely a polite word for plundering) from intragovernmental debt, also known as retirement accounts, is about to kick into high gear. As a reminder, the only solution that Geithner
currently has to run the government, at least until August 2 when even
this runs out, is to slowly drain the debt in non-marketable accounts,
in the form of Suspension of G-Fund and ESF reinvestments,
as well as the Redemption and suspension of of CSRDF Investments,
measure which when combined will provide a short-term buffer of $232
billion. Yet for all practical purposes, what is happening is that
retirement accounts are now being seriously plundered, and if the
unthinkable were to happen, and the debt ceiling would not rise, not
only would the US be in technical default, but various retirement funds,
which already are underfunded, would find themselves even more severely
in the Red. As the chart below shows, the total amount of intragovernmental
debt currently outstanding, has dropped to levels last seen in early
April, even as total debt has continued its steadfast move higher. The
scary thing is that by the time August 2 rolls around, the current total
of $4.608 trillion in various Trust Funds, will drop to well about $4.4
trillion, or an implicit 6% underfunding in 2 months merely to keep the
bloated government operating for a few more months.

Of course if everything turns out fine, these disinvestments will be promptly reversed as the Treasury doubles down on its borrowing spree to fund the retirement accounts that currently are being pillaged. For the sake of all government worker retirees, we hope this is the final outcome.

In the meantime, for an explanation of the "disinvestment" process, here a brief primer from Stone McCarthy:

On May 16, Treasury effectively hit the current $14.294 trillion debt ceiling and began employing the tools available to avoid breaching the debt ceiling. Since May 16, the debt subject to the debt limit has been $14.293975 trillion each day, showing that Treasury has $25 million in breathing room under the debt ceiling.

Unfortunately (for geeks like us), it's not completely transparent how Treasury is managing the debt versus the debt limit on a daily basis. In a nutshell, Treasury appears to be disinvesting non-marketable securities on an as-needed basis to maintain that $25 million of breathing room under the ceiling. We do know that Treasury has used three of the tools available: Suspending G-Fund reinvestments, redeeming investments of the Civil Service Retirement and Disability Fund (CSRDF), and suspending new CSRDF investments. In sum, those options use about $147 billion of roughly $264 billion available to Treasury to create room to issue new marketable debt.

Before mid May, we thought Treasury would exhaust available measures to create room under the debt limit on August 1; Treasury expects to run out of room to borrow on August 2. The difference of one day is significant, because Treasury's projection assumes the ability to settle 2-, 5- and 7-year note auctions on August 1.

At this point, we are going to assume that the Treasury has more information than we do, and that those auctions will settle on August 2. We think it's becoming increasingly more important to focus on Treasury cash flows than on debt under the debt limit. The ultimate day of reckoning comes when Treasury runs out of cash, not when it runs out of room to issue new debt. Many in Congress and the press appear to confuse the two, and Treasury hasn't worked that hard to draw a distinction (although Secretary Geithner's last letter to Congressional leaders said that August 2 was the date on which "Treasury projects the borrowing authority of the United States will be exhausted.")

As we noted in a recent Chart of the Day comment, we think Treasury will run out of cash in mid August, assuming that it doesn't put off paying any obligations. Those projections still hold; based on our forecast, Treasury would be able to pay its August 15 coupon interest payment, but might not have enough cash to pay about $9.1 billion in Social Security benefits payments on August 17. Those projections can change a lot in either direction, however, over the next two months, depending mostly on the strength of tax receipts. Also, it's possible that Treasury could raise cash from other sources, including accelerated sales of MBS, although Treasury has made it clear it doesn't want to rely on asset sales to raise cash.

At this point, we do think some sort of deficit reduction deal will emerge from the talks Vice President Biden is holding with members of Congress. It's not likely to be a "grand bargain" along the lines of the proposal from the President's deficit reduction commission, but it will probably be enough to create a vehicle for a debt ceiling increase before Treasury runs out of cash.

That outcome isn't certain -- the two sides remain far apart. Comments from House Majority Leader Eric Cantor over the weekend were telling. On CBC's Face the Nation, Cantor reportedly said the talks have been positive. "Everything is on the table...we've said, as Republicans, we're not going to go for tax increases." Democrats certainly have a different definition of everything being on the table.

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docmac324's picture

And no one goes to jail...


Michael Victory's picture

Off topic (what else is new)..

For Silversurfers:

Remembering the Nickel Default of 2006


I think I need to buy a gun's picture

hey cramer said this afternoon on Cnbc to just buy home depot because people are fixing up their homes and not paying their mortgage......WTF logic is that.....the end must be revaluation next.....

financeguru500's picture

Lol that is truly insane thinking.

As far as government spending is concerned, at this point in time you would have to be crazy not to think that the gov is screwed. If the government were an individual applying for credit, they would have been denied long ago. At the point the government currently is at is like they are applying for new credit cards to pay off old credit cards. They are switching very fast each time to try and pay off the old credit card but each time they switch the pay out period shortens.

I've often wondered as a kid how the world could be at such peace with each other when their used to be such horrendous acts like world wars, genocide and slaver. Then later I realized all these things exist but are just subvert. Slavory exists just as much today but it is in the form of debt and financial slavery. Pay a person substandard wages and let them become indebted to you and you guarantee they will work for substandard wages for the rest of their life. Let them go spend 4 days a year at a tropical paradise and then go back to working their sad existence of a life. Meanwhile you can enjoy the fruits of their labor while making exponentially more money than them. The system is screwed and its finally coming down. The only bad thing is that the system that comes to replace this system will most likely be even worse.

cxl9's picture

The debt problem is easily solved. I can think of a variety of ways. How about this? Total personal wealth in the United States is around $50 trillion. The government simply chooses a number - say 8 - and then one day seizes the entire wealth of everyone whose social security number ends in that digit. Instant $5T, minus the costs of collection. Sure, there will need to be murder, beatings, and imprisonment of a few people so that everyone else falls in line, but that's no problem for government. That's what they do. Obviously, 90% of the American population would happily support this, since it doesn't harm them and they think they'll get something for nothing. Rinse and repeat. Choose a different number next time, which 90% will once again support. This is simply a frank application of the common government tactic of subdividing people into groups that are too small to defend themselves and then stealing their wealth. Let's just call democracy what it is and get on with it already.

The entire sham of democracy rests on people's belief that they can live at the expense of their neighbor. Voting is simply the process of electing someone who promises he will steal the most for us, at the expense of someone else of course. Our neighbors, the "rich", the unborn, whoever. Government happily mediates this theft, and promotes and abets it, because they take a cut of each transaction. The more theft, the better (from the government's point of view). Spread the wealth.

hedgeless_horseman's picture

Yes we can!*


*As long as  SSNs ending in the number 1 are exempt.

Abitdodgie's picture

What is even better about your idea is that if you put it to the vote of the people they would probably vote it in, and as America is a republic not a democracy we could opt out of the vote so we would not be included thus keeping our wealth and having a good laugh at people getting the beatings

cranky-old-geezer's picture

The debt problem is easily solved.

I stopped reading there. It's not going to be solved.

Alexandre Stavisky's picture

The crook and the flail.  Symbols of power.

For shepherds and farmers.  Better still for enslavers.

Power of law, power of purse, power of enforcing.

gov't, bank, army.

Everything else subservient.  Extract from those who do.

Take from the farmer, miners, assemblers.

Crush dissention.  Spread the system, spread the word.

Suck it up, coppertop, you're just a single dot in a larger energy assembly.

Pay tribute, or pay Charon.

Oh regional Indian's picture

The crook and the flail.

I hope everyone can get a sense of the irony of that, it just struck me.

Crooked crooks and flailing proles.



Michael's picture

Thanks ZH for the forum to show not so unrelated videos of what our country has become. Almost 1000 views on my new upload in less than a day.

TSA Stuck Their Fingers Up Miss America's Vagina at a Dallas Airport, Last Straw!

This is crossing the line. I don't care what the perceived threat is. Government thugs don't get to stick their fingers up Miss America's Vagina ever, PERIOD!

The Department of Homeland Security TSA stuck their fingers up Miss America's Vagina at a Dallas Airport recently and? they? knew who she was. I don't get it. Are we in North Korea now?

If you personally enjoy being treated that way, then please move to China or Cuba. I will personally buy you a free one way ticket? there.

TSA agents must feel like the most humiliated employees on the? planet. Too bad. This is how we must show it to make them quit their jobs and make them? realize, IT'S NOT WORTH IT.


GetZeeGold's picture


gold revaluation next

Wow....I don't think you can actually say that.



ReallySparky's picture

Thanks for the link, I was wondering if there was any type of history regarding a default on the exchanges.  Most of the articles that I have been reading, mention the imminent default of crimex (maybe July more likely later in 2011), but most have no clue how it will go down.  This article makes sense from the stand point that they will change the "rules" due to a MAD crisis.   As Olivia would say, "Let's get physical, Physical".

Quinvarius's picture

The COMEX is on permanent defense because they always think someone is trying to corner the market on the long side to screw them and their banker buddies.  They see the Hunt brothers everywhere they look.  But the global book has made their ability to just announce they won't be a source of supply, like they did with silver in the 80's, a difficult task.  Is Asia going to let them drop silver to $5 just because they go to liquidation only and let their supply get drained too?  Is the nightly price move in silver going to go from $70 every night for Asia to $5 every day in the US and then back to $70 every night because US exchanges are defaulting while Asians are delivering?

COMEX and LBMA have a serious problem and they have not thought it through.  They either get with reality and the free markets or they will be cut out of the global market book.

Manthong's picture

Those federal workers don't mind because they are patriotic and they know that a note from the US Treasury is as good as gold.

ReallySparky's picture

Quick thought, so If Timmy is raiding the government retirement accounts: Would this mean that our illustrious elected representatives (congress critters, senators, past presidents) are being looted as we speak?  Or do they have an untouchable retirement? 

Cognitive Dissonance's picture

Looks like Timmay and the Treasury has it's own great vampire squid wrapped around the face of it's own worker's retirement account, relentlessly jamming its blood funnel into it and anything else that smells like money.

ReallySparky's picture

I can see the headlines a few years from now..."Destitute former Congress Person/Senator/President sells memorabilia from when they were in office to make ends meet."  Quoted as saying, "I had no idea that my vote would make me broke". Kinda like a former professional athlete.

Henry Chinaski's picture

smells like... wealth confiscation

dry run

QuantumCat's picture

I just want peope to understand that this is a defacto nationalization of CONTRIBUTED FUNDS to the TSP G FUND, not a future promised government entitlement or defined benefit pension plan. This is straight up thuggery.


Amish Hacker's picture

Oh, you mean kind of like the Social Security Trust Fund?

XPolemic's picture

Would this mean that our illustrious elected representatives (congress critters, senators, past presidents) are being looted as we speak? 

No. Elected representatives can keep 'soft' election funds. Most of them get rich that way. Some of them were very rich before they ran for office, and despite the stupidity of that decision, still manage to keep some money for retirement.

Cathartes Aura's picture

perhaps they realise there won't be retirement benefits paid, and that helps the excuses they make every day when they're fed monies from various "lobbyists" and other assorted parasites.

virtually all are multi-millionaires, and many have dual-citizenship - I'm sure they'll be fine.

cossack55's picture

Is this the basis for a new and improved Bonus Army. Quick, call out Dugout Doug to start shooting dancers.

SilverRhino's picture

And to make it all better the fedgov will crank taxes up to bleeding from your asshole to pay for these IOUS they are creating.

This is like paying off the Visa by maxing the Vinne-the-loan-shark credit line.

slaughterer's picture

Turbo caught with his finger in the retirement cookie jar... again... and again... until those big bad Repubs open up another cookie factory for him to run into the ground.

Shell Game's picture

And the Demshits don't have melted morsels on their hands as well?  FYI, neither party is really any different from the other, unless you believe what you see on the MSM..

MisterMousePotato's picture

It may be true that there is no meaningful difference between George Bush or O'Bummer (or Nancy Pelousi and John Boner, for that matter), but that doesn't mean that there isn't a difference between the parties. First of all, their rank and file constituencies might as well be from different planets (not that either party does a particularly good job at representing them, but the politicians are beholden to them [Mike Castle or Charlie Crist, anyone?]).  Too, the parties do claim to stand for different things, albeit in the kind of language that means that no one is ever really accountable. "Hope and Change," of course, is one of the better examples of this, although such as "smaller government" is pretty good, too.  (Smaller than what?  How big, exactly?)

But no, I have to disagree with anyone who says that there is no difference between 'the parties'. There is. The problem is that the electorate keeps returning the same shitbags (Orrin Hatch and Arlen Spector, for example) for decades even though they do not do what they want them to do. I do see signs that they may be changing on the Republican side due to the 'Tea Party' influence. Let's see how Hatch vs Chaffetz (sp?) turns out in Utah.

I keep hoping that at some point, some in Washington might decide that they'd rather be a Congressman than a Democrat or a Republican, and do what their constituency really wants instead of what their party bosses demand. Unfortunately, that requires that their constituencies pay attention, so my hope is probably just embarrassing naivete.

Rynak's picture

I don't care about promises.

I don't care about marketing.

I care about results.

What have the results been?

What are parties doing about that?

Bonus question: If you have a bunch of egoists, and a bunch of altruists, does it matter whom people vote for, when there cannot be one without the other? If you have a bunch of individualists, and a bunch of collectivists, does it matter whom people vote for, when there cannot be one without the other? If you have a bunch of people who want to change some stuff, and a bunch of people who want to keep some stuff, does it matter whom of both retards people vote for, when you cannot have the former retards without the other retards?

When all you can vote for, is two things which mutually depend on each other, you're not making any practically relevant decision at all - you're just voting for one aspect of a system, while telling yourself that it will not automatically guarantee what you voted against. Do you advocate parasites or hosts? Do you advocate changing some things, or do you advocate keeping other things? Do you advocate yaysayers or naysayers? Do collectives consist of individuals, or do individuals form collectives? The pointless, useless and fucking braindead decision and mental disorder is yours!

You "hope"? Well, continue doing that..... you'll need it in the absence of confidence, satisfaction and understanding...... and consequently a lot of pain.

MisterMousePotato's picture

A couple of question, please, if you don't mind.

First of all, did you junk me? I'm not upset (in fact, I'm actually kinda proud ... my first junk at fight club, I think, and I've tried really hard to offend everybody), but I am kinda curious: Why? Because I suggested that the Democrat party might represent broad swaths of Americans, and their dreams, hopes, and desires who might not find perfect representation in the likes of Harry Reid or Nancy Pelosi? Or that the Republican party might be more than just Newt Gingrich or George Bush? That seems a reasonable statement, and, if I might be so bold, exactly what gets people to saying stuff like "there's no difference between the parties;" viz., if you're comparing George Bush to Barry O, or Newt Gingrich to Nancy Pelosi, then, yeah, you're right. There's not a spit's worth of difference.  Remember Newt and Nancy's little love fest on the couch about globull warming? I sure do.

What I am suggesting is that there are other metrics to measure the parties, first and foremost among them the constituencies that tend to gravitate to one party or the other.  And the fact is, in order to be called "The Honorable so-and-so from so-and-where," politicians have to pander to one of those groups or the other, which, in theory, makes them accountable when they do not do as that constituency wishes.

The problem, of course, is that neither Republican or Democrat constituencies have been paying any attention to what their representatives are actually doing, or holding them accountable. Vote for TARP? Sure, we'll reelect you. Refuse to do anything about immigration? Well, I think it's destroying my country, but I'll vote for you anyway because you're an R. Or a D. (What's the difference?) Obamacare? No problem, even though I think it's an abomination. I'm against the war in Afghanistan and Irag (war for oil, war for oil), but I'll vote for Barry again despite his sneering at the war powers act, even if Georgie the Chimp never dreamed of doing so.

Like you, I am tired of promises. And I am immune to marketing. And I have been waiting, waiting, for almost a quarter century (23 years, to be exact), for people to wake the fuck up, and boot the likes of Charlie Crist and Harry Reid (evil, unprincipalled, theiving, hypocritical, two-faced, lying liars) out of public office.

I do observe that Charlie Crist is, in fact, gone. But Harry Reid, I see, is not. Hence, if I offended you because I suggested that there was perhaps more 'hope' for the Republicans than the Democrats ... well, I do not think that I am entirely without reason. Yes, I am perfectly aware that Juan McCain was returned to the Senate. With the possible exception of Rodney Glassman and/or J. D. Hayworth, I am as disappointed about that as any human being on the planet. And I can compile a list of other Republican shitbags at least 40 or 60 names long off the top of my head. (I am French. For the French, politics is sport.)

But, the fact is that Charlie Crist is gone. And, too, Mike Castle. So is Arlen Spector. All gone. But, Nancy Pelosi? Harry Reid? Dianne Feinstein? Barbara Boxer? Maxine Waters? Alcee Hastings? (I mean, for God's sake, a federal district court judge caught taking bribes?!? And that doesn't disqualify him from public office in the eyes of a Democrat? W......T.......F......?) Have you ever seen these people?!? Disgusting! Vile. Foul. When some of them are gone from public office, then I might agree that there's no difference between the parties. But until then, sorry, but the Republicans have an edge, even if their efforts to date are pathetic.

When I said that I was hoping that a day would come when our elected representatives would choose to do what is best for their constituencies and this nation, rather than themselves and their bankster overlords, I was expressing a wish that was more about the electorate than the elected. Pray, Sir, if you take that hope away from me, what then do I tell my precious baby daughter?

geoffb's picture

The only difference between the parties is who gets the handouts. And sometimes thats not even different.  I don't consider that enough of a difference to split hairs over.  It won't change no matter who is elected. You will just replace one corporate whipping boy for another.

gametracker's picture

neither party is really any different from the other


hey captain obvious, please tell us something that we HAVEN'T known for 20 years

Cathartes Aura's picture

you'd think that, but there are many here who still choose "sides" and post about it - and still think getting the vote out for, say, Ron Paul is an option.

there are many, many layers of "truth" for people to take in, and not everyone is on the same page. . . obviously.

oogs66's picture

The day they raise the debt ceiling our debt subject to the limit will jump a quarter trillion to honor the iou's. Nice country :)

NotApplicable's picture

At a minimum. Who knows what other tricks they've got to "pay" for?

Mr Lennon Hendrix's picture

The Treasury has taken out $108 billion of public pensions to pay for debt issuance and they will never pay the debt back.  Maybe they will not pay the pension reserves back either.  Timmah says, "Win, win!"

Manthong's picture

The federal workers can rest easy knowing that their fund IOU's are stored in the same solid Steelcase brand filing cabinets as the SSTF.

Texas Ginslinger's picture

Like Daddy raiding the cookie jar.

I can understand the logic there.

High Plains Drifter's picture

blue skies smilin at me..........its blue skies from now on.......

this song goes out to leo..........

Hansel's picture

I tried following how Treasury is funding everything now but it is impossible.  The DTS debt hasn't changed since May 16 and I'm not aware of the CSRDF posting its assets daily anywhere.  At this point I think Tim Geithner is just keeping a second set of books.  There is no accounting going on anymore.


cossack55's picture

GAAP and FASB are oh so 90's. (1890s)

hedgeless_horseman's picture

Arthur Anderson's government division.