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Treasury Expects To Hit Debt Ceiling By End Of May, Discloses Plans For "Century" Bonds

Tyler Durden's picture


As part of its quarterly refunding statement issued earlier, the Treasury announced that it now expected to breach the debt ceiling "sometime between April 5, 2011 and May 31, 2011.  The modest change in
these estimated dates reflects an upward revision to projected receipts
and a projected downward revision to debt to be issued to government
trust funds." The tentative breach point has been pushed back by one week compared to the previous estimate of March 31, 2011 to May 16, 2011. Of course, these numbers incorporate the benefits of the wind down of the SFP program, discussed extensively previously on Zero Hedge, which we believe will provide a major (as in $195 billion over two months) liquidity boost for risk assets. As a reminder, as there was no 56 Day Cash Management Bill rolling auction today now that the Treasury is unwinding the SFP, tomorrow the market will see $25 billion in extra liquidity as an 8 week old bill matures and the proceeds are used by the PD to invest as they see fit. Back to the debt limit: when asked how much bigger the new debt ceiling should be, the Treasury left the ball in Congress' court:"We do not have a have particular figure that we
have put to Congress. That is their prerogative to offer that," Mary
Miller, Treasury assistant secretary for financial markets, told a news
conference. While not new, Reuters summarizes what will happen should Congress not succeed to raise the debt target number fairly well: "
If Congress does not raise the limit in a timely
way, the government could be forced to scale back operations. A failure
to lift the limit could raise the specter of a first-ever U.S. debt
default and push up interest rates sharply." According to Zero Hedge estimates, Congress will end up raising the debt ceiling to $15.9 trillion from the current $14.3... a number which will need to be raised once again in January of 2012, at which point the entire debt "ceiling" farce can just be put aside.

From Reuters:

A number of Republican lawmakers have raised opposition to increasing the limit without significant concessions on spending cuts from the Obama administration. A contentious debate is expected after the White House unveils its proposed fiscal 2012 budget later this month.

"Given the history of debt limit fights, brinkmanship will rule the day, and nothing of significance will happen in February," said Pierpont Securities analyst Stephen Stanley adding that a resolution could drag out "to the bitter end."

Senate Budget Committee Chairman Kent Conrad said the delay in hitting the debt limit buys more time for Congress to reach consensus on a plan to control long-term deficits -- a complex and difficult task.

"The increase in the debt limit, the amount of it, is much less important to me than having a plan that over time brings down this debt," Conrad, a Democrat from North Dakota, told reporters. "That to me is the key."

Treasury's Miller said the government had no plans to selectively cut or delay payments to employees or contractors . That "would in a sense be defaulting on our obligations, so it's not a path that we want to go down," she said.

Once again, none of this is new to Zero Hedge readers. What is, however, is the following:

The Treasury also disclosed that it had discussed
with big bond dealers the possibility of an "ultra-long" bond with a
maturity of 40, 50, or 100 years, as one of several options to broaden
the investor base for Treasury debt. Miller said no decisions on this
front were imminent.

While it is well-known, and much commented on here previously, that the US Treasury is funded with a woefully high ratio of short-term debt, the last thing the globally duration mismatched balance sheet needs now is to extended liability duration by orders of magnitude. Which is precisely why we are convinced that within 3 months the US Treasury will start issuing 100 year maturities... around the time when cotton surges by 10% each and every day.

For those who wish to learn more, the full minutes of the Treasury meeting can be found here.


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Wed, 02/02/2011 - 16:51 | 928593 Gubbmint Cheese
Gubbmint Cheese's picture

so buy a bond and a parrot and see which one gets called in first..



Wed, 02/02/2011 - 17:13 | 928652 centerline
centerline's picture

At least you could eat the parrot.

Wed, 02/02/2011 - 17:17 | 928667 Misean
Misean's picture

You could teach the parrot to say "Buy the f**king dip!" "Green Shoots!" "It's all contained!" "You can't eat gold!".

Bonds can't do that.

Wed, 02/02/2011 - 18:07 | 928880 asdasmos
asdasmos's picture


Wed, 02/02/2011 - 17:19 | 928675 Confused
Confused's picture

Excellent! Thanks for the laugh. 

Wed, 02/02/2011 - 18:19 | 928924 jus_lite_reading
jus_lite_reading's picture

I've managed to keep my vulgar language contained and off the internet for the most part, but after reading TD's ZH, I have to say to the idea of perpetual bonds- FUCK THIS!


Wed, 02/02/2011 - 16:51 | 928595 slow_roast
slow_roast's picture

Early Christmas gifts bitchez.

Wed, 02/02/2011 - 16:52 | 928596 TheGreatPonzi
TheGreatPonzi's picture

"The Treasury also disclosed that it had discussed with big bond dealers the possibility of an "ultra-long" bond with a maturity of 40, 50, or 100 years"

RobotTrader was right. Don't fight the PigMen. But who will be dumb enough to lend money at 100 years, still?

Wed, 02/02/2011 - 16:58 | 928617 lemonobrien
lemonobrien's picture

the FED

Wed, 02/02/2011 - 17:04 | 928623 redpill
redpill's picture

The term doesn't matter much when the Fed buys them back the next week

Wed, 02/02/2011 - 17:17 | 928666 Dr. Gonzo
Dr. Gonzo's picture

If I bought one I could cash it when I'm a 139 years old. Something to look forward too for my old age fund.

Sun, 06/26/2011 - 10:29 | 1402790 malikai
malikai's picture

So lets see here. $1000 bill at 2.5% for 100 years.. That's a whole $137.60 in interest for the duration. I don't see what the problem here is. That sounds like a fantastic deal. Who wouldn't want that?!

Wed, 02/02/2011 - 18:54 | 929055 jkruffin
jkruffin's picture

Easy answer, the taxpayer....and also they will force every single 401k/IRA plan into this scam like they planned all along.  Remember the open comment period they had last year regarding this Geithner swindle?

Wed, 02/02/2011 - 16:52 | 928597 DaveyJones
DaveyJones's picture

century bonds, by the time you count to a hundred...

Wed, 02/02/2011 - 16:54 | 928606 lunaticfringe
lunaticfringe's picture

My math sucks. I had us hitting the debt ceiling at the end of the month. Deferring here and trying to sort out the pieces from this read.

Wed, 02/02/2011 - 22:40 | 929721 tekhneek
tekhneek's picture

How were you calculating it? I was off too.

The numbers perhaps, or a link?

Wed, 02/02/2011 - 16:56 | 928611 Comrade de Chaos
Comrade de Chaos's picture

Century bonds?!?

All right !!!, why enslave only one future generation, when you can enslave a few or more. 

And one would think given the spread of riots "someone" would take a notice. 

Uncertainty, must be "good" for the business.. coming to the theater near you. 

Wed, 02/02/2011 - 16:59 | 928620 Tense INDIAN
Tense INDIAN's picture

India has also HIT a CEILING ....the BIG COUNT::

Wed, 02/02/2011 - 17:04 | 928625 SilverIsKing
SilverIsKing's picture

Why stop at Century?  How about Millenium Bonds for those of us who eat right and exercise daily?

Wed, 02/02/2011 - 17:07 | 928635 Wynn
Wynn's picture

Which sacrificial lambs will be offered to the bond gods to get this deal done?

Wed, 02/02/2011 - 17:07 | 928638 Guy Fawkes Mulder
Guy Fawkes Mulder's picture

Step 1: Force, bribe, and-or trick the politicians into not raising the debt ceiling.

Step 2: The Ultimate Dollar Crisis and Ultimate Banking Crisis in world history occur.

Step 3: The media and experts start talking about how only a bank of the world that everyone in the world has to pay interest and debt to can possibly bailout the world economy and fight the Greatest Depression. BIS and IMF are considered to be the new "Fed" that are capable to save the world economy by being the ones to issue its debt.

Step 4: Meet the new boss... Your plan for the old New World Order is back on the fast track, having been stalled a bit over the past two years.

Step 5: Answer CAPTCHA question: "38 plus ___ equals 38".

Wed, 02/02/2011 - 17:19 | 928676 Max Hunter
Max Hunter's picture

I wonder who will own this only world bank.. I'll bet not one owner will be Jewish..

Wed, 02/02/2011 - 17:15 | 928658 Misean
Misean's picture

Century bonds?!?!?! They need big biger biggerest thinking. A thousand year Reich...erm...Dumbocracy of pr0n freedom and football needs millenial bonds!

Wed, 02/02/2011 - 17:19 | 928674 WestVillageIdiot
WestVillageIdiot's picture

This reminds me a lot of all of the stories of octegenarians taking out 30-year mortgages to buy houses.  Good luck collecting from a dead man.


Embalm this, bitchez.

Wed, 02/02/2011 - 17:17 | 928665 jus_lite_reading
jus_lite_reading's picture

Century Bonds are Perpetual Bonds. When a nation resorts to that, it's unofficially declaring insolvency.

Wed, 02/02/2011 - 18:08 | 928887 A Man without Q...
A Man without Qualities's picture

The UK government issued perpetual bonds in 1917, paying a 3.5% coupon.  The amount borrowed was £1.9 billion, which was a hell of a lot back them, but they are still going strong.  In some ways, you are right, the UK was on the brink of insolvency back in 1917....

Wed, 02/02/2011 - 18:24 | 928942 jus_lite_reading
jus_lite_reading's picture

It's a running joke that a century bond is one that is the bond of last resort. It means an empire has run out of options to sustain the house of cards. There is a reason for that.

I'm sure that the Fed's bean counters have concluded that there is a very high probability the end of the world will occur within the next few decades. Either way, those bond holders will never be paid back.


Wed, 02/02/2011 - 17:17 | 928668 Dr. Porkchop
Dr. Porkchop's picture

If they never fail to raise the debt ceiling, it means there effectively is no ceiling. What a fucking joke.

Wed, 02/02/2011 - 17:21 | 928682 WestVillageIdiot
WestVillageIdiot's picture

They don't even offer up a budget.  Why the freak do they need to pretend that there is a debt ceiling?  I expect this little dog and pony show to be put to rest in the next few years.  It will be for our own good. 

At the moment the bullet entered Winston's brain he learned to love Big Brother. 

Wed, 02/02/2011 - 17:18 | 928670 tmosley
tmosley's picture

I'm surprised people trust these guys with even an attosecond bond, much less a femptosecond bond.


Wed, 02/02/2011 - 17:23 | 928695 WestVillageIdiot
WestVillageIdiot's picture

You are right tmosley.  These same people I wouldn't trust minding my goldfish for a weekend but here they are responsible for a country with a $14 trillion GDP (supposedly) and the largest nuclear weapons arsenal on the planet.

I'm glad I didn't pick today to quit sniffing glue.

Wed, 02/02/2011 - 19:31 | 929166 Sudden Debt
Sudden Debt's picture

what's your goldfish name?

Wed, 02/02/2011 - 17:19 | 928672 6 String
6 String's picture

If, as Goldman believes, congress waffles, how do the PM's respond? This is a pivotal time that will go down in American history books....if anyone is left to write about it.



Wed, 02/02/2011 - 17:22 | 928681 Zedge Hero
Zedge Hero's picture

   How far can they kick this can down the damn road?  Instead of kicking it they want to pick it up and throw it.  "Give me a 250 year bond please sir, I want to invest in my great great great great great great granchildren's future, for they will surely be FUCKED!!"

Wed, 02/02/2011 - 17:26 | 928704 countryboy42
countryboy42's picture

"That will be $45mil. Please drive to the first window."

Wed, 02/02/2011 - 17:32 | 928731 Zedge Hero
Zedge Hero's picture

" Can I have some Unfunded Liabilities on the side with that too please?"

Wed, 02/02/2011 - 22:50 | 929742 tekhneek
tekhneek's picture

"No, but if you purchase five-500 year bonds you get a 1,000 year bond ABSOLUTELY FREE!"

(with nominal inheritance taxes, of course.)

Wed, 02/02/2011 - 17:33 | 928737 Misean
Misean's picture

By that time the scrap value of the bond certificate itself will be worth more than the redemtion amount.

Wed, 02/02/2011 - 22:51 | 929747 tekhneek
tekhneek's picture

At the rate cotton's going it almost makes sense to accumulate, compress and store the raw materials then exchange them for PM's later.

Wed, 02/02/2011 - 17:23 | 928685 Bob
Bob's picture

Century bonds are crazy genius.  Soak up liquidity with further fraudulant balance sheet support to allow continuing bonuses.  Them white shoe boyz is good.  As criminals at least.

Extend and pretend like donkey kong.

Wed, 02/02/2011 - 17:27 | 928708 Dr. Porkchop
Dr. Porkchop's picture

I know.

I'm telling ya, the supposed real crooks, the mafia, can only sit in awe and wonder at what the banksters get away with.

Wed, 02/02/2011 - 17:54 | 928722 Bob
Bob's picture

That's what Lucky Luciano grieved after spending time at the NYSE: "I picked the wrong mob." 

Wed, 02/02/2011 - 17:22 | 928686 koaj
koaj's picture

why dont we just go Iceland on these fuckers and start over? 2 years of pain vs 100 years of debt slavery. i'll take the 2

Wed, 02/02/2011 - 17:23 | 928691 Trader Joe
Trader Joe's picture


Just issue prepetual callable bonds in both floating and fixed rate flavors

In fact, if I remember some of my ENRON accounting studies, because it would not have a maturity date, it would then qualify as equity, and thus would be a nice way to get around the debt ceiling



Tue, 02/08/2011 - 20:07 | 944697 jonytk
jonytk's picture


Wed, 02/02/2011 - 17:23 | 928692 Dr. Gonzo
Dr. Gonzo's picture

Who would buy this shit?  

Wed, 02/02/2011 - 18:27 | 928956 jus_lite_reading
jus_lite_reading's picture

Perhaps the purple octopus looking aliens NASA is searching for so desparately... "Bring cash, and lots of it," is the signal they have been sending to outer space. Thus the reason we've had no response. Muthafuckers.


Wed, 02/02/2011 - 18:29 | 928964 A_MacLaren
A_MacLaren's picture

Primary Dealers.

Question is who are they gonna flip 'em off to.

PD: Hello Ben? ...  Yeah, Timmah foisted some shit on us.  Send over your garbage truck.

Ben: You have to hold it a week so we can repeat the lie to the Chinese that we're not monetizing the debt.

PD:  &$#!*@  I gotta hold 'em a week?  These things are even stinkier than those 2007 Neg-Am ARMs and NINJA mortgages!

Wed, 02/02/2011 - 17:23 | 928694 JasperNewtonDaniel
JasperNewtonDaniel's picture

The desperation is setting in.  What would your price a 100 year bond at for a country that has the largest debt and deficit in the history of humanity and a Central Bank that can inject figures into the money supply larger than the number of atoms in the universe?  Anything above ZERO would clearly be overpriced.


Wed, 02/02/2011 - 18:28 | 928960 jus_lite_reading
jus_lite_reading's picture

One can only imagine the yield on that

Wed, 02/02/2011 - 17:24 | 928698 SilverIsKing
SilverIsKing's picture

Perhaps the thinking, or sales pitch, goes something like, "since you will be required to work until you retire at 130 years old, buy some of these bonds that are backed by the full faith and credit of the US Govt."

Wed, 02/02/2011 - 17:28 | 928714 Ancona
Ancona's picture

100 years?? Bwahahahahaha!!!

+1000 Banana Ben!!

Too funny by six!

I want some of the hopium these guys must be smoking......I need to alter my reality to fit in to theirs.  :)

Wed, 02/02/2011 - 17:31 | 928726 GottaBKiddn
GottaBKiddn's picture

Popularly known as "Slave Bonds".



Wed, 02/02/2011 - 17:34 | 928746 tickhound
tickhound's picture

Fannie/freddie to offer 100 year fixed mortgage loans soon... to foreigners.

Wed, 02/02/2011 - 19:03 | 929089 Rainman
Rainman's picture

.......and Government Motors will offer financing for 100 months with no-money down, zero interest on any car, any color as long as it's a Volt.

Wed, 02/02/2011 - 17:46 | 928796 gwar5
gwar5's picture

"Shlippity Shlappity thanks, but no thanks Miss Moneypenny, I already got my monkey spanked in Costa Rica!"

-- James Bond, 007

Wed, 02/02/2011 - 17:54 | 928831 Cheesy Bastard
Cheesy Bastard's picture


Wed, 02/02/2011 - 17:37 | 928760 gwar5
gwar5's picture

I knew it, 100 year bonds! I heard about it last year as a joke. No joke.

Yes, we have no bananas...... and we ain't gettin' any for 1200 months. 

Wed, 02/02/2011 - 17:40 | 928772 Convolved Man
Convolved Man's picture

Hmmm, U.S. Treasury "Century" bonds?

Would these be a safer investment than purchasing Renewable Energy leases from the Secretary of Interior for wind turbine farms on the moon?

Wed, 02/02/2011 - 23:28 | 929838 tekhneek
tekhneek's picture

Yeah. I saw that. It's even more sad when you read it:

Wed, 02/02/2011 - 17:43 | 928782 hooligan2009
hooligan2009's picture

well gee...let me see..iwilljust ring my bank and tell them that I have raised my debt ceiling to 3 million bucks so I can go on a ten year cruise with nothing to show for it at then end...but I will tell them not to worry cos I will be back to raise my debt ceiling to 6 million bucks and take the cruise in the other direction. why doesn't this strike anyone as ridiculous...the only dent ceiling is how much ink is left in the Fed's printing presses

Wed, 02/02/2011 - 19:45 | 929197 baddress
baddress's picture

I'm long cotton, linen, and monarch butterfly. I hear demand is strong and supply is tight.

Wed, 02/02/2011 - 17:44 | 928784 Astute Investor
Astute Investor's picture

I'm going to hold out and wait for the US Treasury Consol at 0.000001%....

Wed, 02/02/2011 - 17:48 | 928805 davepowers
davepowers's picture

The next two weeks of Fed's weekly balance sheets will be real interesting to how if and how they pay off their SFP loan from the Treasury. This will also determine just how much extra stimulus comes from the wind down of the SFP. Contrary to the repeated assertions of Tyler and others, the SFP did not withdraw liquidity from the market, except for the time in which it took the FED, who got the money, to inject it back via MBS/Treasury paper purchases.

Still, if speculators think it will be stimulative, then they'll be stimulated no matter what.

Wed, 02/02/2011 - 17:48 | 928806 Buttcathead
Buttcathead's picture

Time to buy more BIDU.  Oh of course some AAPL too. 

Wed, 02/02/2011 - 17:50 | 928818 Buttcathead
Buttcathead's picture

oops, almost forget, put me down for 400  shares of NFLX too.  Thanks Crazy Uncle Ben

Wed, 02/02/2011 - 18:10 | 928892 plocequ1
plocequ1's picture

im with you

Wed, 02/02/2011 - 17:48 | 928807 PeterSchump
PeterSchump's picture

I really don't lnow why the Bernank is scared to raise rates.  Maybe he is just wating for the Chinese to liquidate, after that the only interest the Treasury will be paying is to the Fed.  Maybe Ms. Wantanabe and Ms. Smith, but not too much.

Wed, 02/02/2011 - 17:51 | 928821 Bob
Bob's picture

Makes me wonder what the interest rate is on the debt held by the SS Trust Fund. 

Wed, 02/02/2011 - 17:57 | 928841 tewkatz
tewkatz's picture

Infinity Bonds!!!  They pay 1% etern-ually to your estate.


Thu, 02/03/2011 - 01:41 | 930156 saulysw
saulysw's picture

Buzz Bernake : To infinity, buy bonds!

Wed, 02/02/2011 - 17:56 | 928847 Lone Mad Minute...
Lone Mad Minute Medic's picture

A debt ceiling is just a line of faith just the FRN is faith in fiat.

Wed, 02/02/2011 - 17:57 | 928849 Herman Strandsc...
Herman Strandschnecke's picture

 Hey, just consider these 100 year bonds as future family heirlooms. Silverware is so yesterday.

Wed, 02/02/2011 - 18:06 | 928874 hooligan2009
hooligan2009's picture

the NEW BOND is here...a zero coupon much present value is that worth? hmmm let me see..never pays back and never pays any interest...voila problem can we find another sucker to buy it?


Wed, 02/02/2011 - 18:08 | 928886 jwäges
jwäges's picture

I think the idea of issuing longer term tresuries is more akin to digging biiger holes to stuff in more bodies. This always happens in hyperinflation. More extend and pretend.

Wed, 02/02/2011 - 18:15 | 928914 aerojet
aerojet's picture

The debt "ceiling" is a debt target.  What is so wrong about doing the right thing and wind down major pieces of the federal bureaucracy?  Is it really that impossible?


Wed, 02/02/2011 - 18:15 | 928916 A Man without Q...
A Man without Qualities's picture

If people are willing to buy 50 yr fixed rate bonds issued by Austrian banks, can't see what's so crazy about 100 yr US bonds.  The present value of the back end payment is about 2% of notional, so when you buy, it's essentially a perpetual..

Wed, 02/02/2011 - 18:19 | 928929 gwar5
gwar5's picture

What's zero percent interest compounded x 100 years?

Wed, 02/02/2011 - 18:26 | 928953 hooligan2009
hooligan2009's picture

heh...the permanent solution to all debt problems...


Wed, 02/02/2011 - 18:43 | 928988 A_MacLaren
A_MacLaren's picture

Gives new meaning to Project for the New American Century

Buy our bonds, or we'll bomb you back to the stone age.

Wed, 02/02/2011 - 18:59 | 929072 jkruffin
jkruffin's picture

100 year bonds coming to a Treasury near you.....rate will be .05%. Only one buying will be Bernancompoop!  If they don't get these swindling crooks out of our FED and TRSY soon, the fat lady will be singing a very long tune.

Wed, 02/02/2011 - 19:03 | 929091 Bastiat
Bastiat's picture


Good one!!

Wed, 02/02/2011 - 21:38 | 929531 topcallingtroll
topcallingtroll's picture

berskanke?  Got any more names?

Wed, 02/02/2011 - 19:01 | 929084 aerial view
aerial view's picture

100 year bonds-sounds great-give me 100 year loans for mortgage, credit cards, autos and all other purchases and if I don't make the payments you can have my ashes!

Wed, 02/02/2011 - 19:34 | 929171 Sudden Debt
Sudden Debt's picture

100 YEAR BONDS?!!!


Monetizing debt on the back of future future future generations?!



Wed, 02/02/2011 - 19:50 | 929210 Just Observing
Just Observing's picture

Uh, no.....the REALLY stupid crap they are holding back on for now......for a day when humor is in short supply.

Wed, 02/02/2011 - 20:46 | 929395 Rainman
Rainman's picture

Like my World Bond idea. All the worldwide shit paper from all sources goes into the World Bond. Squid gives it a pricing , 5% yield.....60 year's brilliant !!

Guranteed by the full faith and credit of the WORLD !!   

Wed, 02/02/2011 - 21:36 | 929527 topcallingtroll
topcallingtroll's picture

Hey I like that idea, but give them a thousand year maturity, and then over the next four hundred years have all the central banks quietly monetize them and put them in the shredder.

Mon, 03/21/2011 - 21:34 | 1084289 XenOrbitalEnginE
XenOrbitalEnginE's picture

I thought the only thing they can do is by definition....

Wed, 02/02/2011 - 19:38 | 929178 baddress
baddress's picture

I phoned Chase Mastercard this morning and informed them I was raising my personal debt ceiling to 1 million dollars, lowering their interest rate to zero, extending the maturity date to 2031, and using the proceeds to go long silver bullion.

They hung up on me.

Wed, 02/02/2011 - 20:28 | 929342 Bastiat
Bastiat's picture

They'll raise your cc interest rate to 26% retroactively to 1/1/10.

Wed, 02/02/2011 - 19:38 | 929179 Sudden Debt
Sudden Debt's picture

If they will cross it by the end of may, we'll start to see panic reaction in the market

"to motivate congress" to support the raise.

So easy....

3 to 4 days where the markets drop 4 to 5 a day...

the bill gets through congress like a F14 on full throttle!

Wed, 02/02/2011 - 22:34 | 929701 Eric The Red
Eric The Red's picture

The day they issue an "ultra-long" bond is the day I go short short term on everything.

Thu, 02/03/2011 - 08:59 | 930418 ZeroPoint
ZeroPoint's picture

Mexico issued some century bonds a little while back. Maybe the USA should change its name to 'Big Mexico'.

Viva La Revolución!

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