Debt Ceiling

Peter Schiff On The Debt Ceiling Delusions

The popular take on the current debt ceiling stand-off is that the Tea Party wing of the Republican Party has a delusional belief that it can hit the brakes on new debt creation without bringing on an economic catastrophe. While Republicans are indeed kidding themselves if they believe that their actions will not unleash deep economic turmoil, there are much deeper and more significant delusions on the other side of the aisle. Democrats, and the President in particular, believe that continually taking on more debt to pay existing debt is a more responsible course of action. Even worse, they appear to believe that debt accumulation is the equivalent of economic growth.

The Week That Was: October 7th - 11th, 2013

This objective report concisely summarizes important macro events over the past week. It is not geared to push an agenda. Impartiality is necessary to avoid costly psychological traps, which all investors are prone to, such as confirmation, conservatism, and endowment biases.

Primary Dealer Bill Holdings Plunge To 2013 Lows

While one after another money market fund quietly announces they are liquidating "cash equivalent" Bill holdings, be they the mid/late October vintage or, now that a can kicking negotiation is in process, the Bills in close proximity to the Thanksgiving day 6 week extension period, over buck breaking concerns that the debt ceiling extension may be snagged due to political manoeuvering, someone was once again ahead of the curve. That someone are the 20 Primary Dealers, which as the NY Fed reports, sold out of the bulk of their Bill holdings in the last two weeks of September in the process taking their Bill holdings to the lowest in all of 2013. The last time Dealers sold off near-term Treasurys with such gusto: July 13 of 2011, just before the last debt ceiling extension fiasco, when Bill holdings dropped to a net negative ($10) billion position.

The Onion's Guide To Understanding The Debt Ceiling Crisis

The Treasury Department has warned that the continued failure by Congress to raise the debt ceiling would leave the United States unable to pay all of its bills and may force the country to default on its government bonds. Here are some helpful answers to the most common questions about the debt ceiling crisis...

Guest Post: Does The US Have A "Sane" Government?

The dollar is the world’s go-to currency. But for how much longer? Will the dollar’s status as the only true global currency be irreparably damaged by the battle in the US Congress over raising the federal government’s debt ceiling? Is the dollar’s “exorbitant privilege” as the world’s main reserve currency truly at risk? Sane governments do not default when they have a choice – especially not when they enjoy the “exorbitant privilege” of issuing the only true global currency. We are about to find out whether the US still has a sane government.

GoldCore's picture

The dangerous habit of politicians and governments continually ‘kicking the can down the road’ cannot go on indefinitely. Eventually, the ramifications of this profligacy will be clear to all.

Yet another increase in the debt ceiling and the increasingly parabolic nature of the rise in U.S. government debt will be very supportive of gold in the medium and long term.

Republicans Fold Again? - Propose Debt-Limit Raise And End Shutdown In Return For Spending "Talks"

It would appear, judging by the market's response and the headlines, that Obama's "unconditional surrender or default" negiotiating tactic has worked... According to AP, the Republicans look to have folded once again:

  • *HOUSE REPUBLICANS SAID TO OFFER PLAN ON SHUTDOWN, DEBT LIMIT
  • *REPUBLICANS SAID TO SEEK TALKS ON REDUCING U.S. SPENDING

The House Republicans are apparently waiting to hear back from the White House on this latest proposal - which amounts to - our translation - "Ok, you can have your government re-opened, and we'll let you raise the debt ceiling... as long as you really really promise to talk about spending cuts at some point in the future maybe possible please."

Consumer Confidence Misses Expectations; Slumps To Lowest Since January

With Gallup indicating the biggest 3-week decline in economic confidence since Lehman, it is hardly a surprise that UMich consumer confidence slumped to its lowest since January having fallen 3 months in a row. This is the 2nd monthly miss in a row - and biggest 3-month drop in 25 months -  and appears to confirm the cyclical turn we have been discussing for a few months. And remember, the exuberance of multiple expansion relies on the ever-rising confidence of the people to lift it back to nebulous heights.

Frontrunning: October 11

  • Dot Com part deux: Investors are showing increasing hunger for initial public offerings of unprofitable technology companies  (WSJ)
  • Poll Finds GOP Blamed More for Shutdown (WSJ)
  • House, Senate Republicans Offer Competing Plans on Debt-Limit, Government Shutdown (WAPO)
  • Obama, Republicans aim to end crisis after meeting, hurdles remain (Reuters)
  • US Rethinks How to Release Sensitive Economic Data (WSJ)
  • Chinese East Oil Fuels Fresh China-US Tensions (WSJ)
  • ECB Agrees on Swap Line With PBOC as Trade Increases (BBG)
  • China September Auto Sales Surge 21% on Japanese Rebound (BBG)
  • JPMorgan Taps Taxpayer-Backed Banks for Basel Rules (BBG)

Stock Euphoria Persists Despite Obama Rejection Of Republican Proposal

Despite stock (not bond) euphoria yesterday that a DC debt ceiling deal was sealed leading to the second largest risk ramp of 2013, last night was spent diffusing the excitement as one after another politician talked back the success of a "non-deal" that Obama rejected, at least according to the NYT. As a result, with both retail sales data and the PPI not being released (and the only data of note the always leaked UMichigan consumer confidence) markets will again be at the behest of developments on Capitol Hill, with some talk from Republicans suggesting a deal as early as today could be possible in an effort to reopen government on Monday. It is entirely possible that talks could continue over the weekend though, which would ensure a gappy open to Asian markets on Monday.

Guest Post: The Possible Outcomes Of The Shutdown Theater

Only a week ago, the consensus among most mainstream economic analysts and even some alternative analysts was that a government shutdown was not going to happen. The Republicans would fold in the shadow of President Barack Obama’s overwhelming drive for socialization, spending would continue to grow unabated, and the debt ceiling would be vaulted yet again to feed the bureaucratic machine with more fiat. Today, there is no consensus, very few people continue to be so blithely self-assured and even the mainstream is beginning to wonder if a much bigger game is afoot here.

White House, Republican Meeting "Inconclusive", To Continue Throughout The Night

UPDATE: The Day in Washington in 2 minutes added

In what can at best be described as a "fluid" situation, one in which according to initial press reports the White House and the GOP couldn't even compromise on what had actually been said, it seems that while both sides are eager to move on with the debt ceiling extension, the GOP is still hoping in trying to preserve some political capital, of which it will be left with virtually nil if it caves to every last demand by the democrats, namely "reopen the government and then we can negotiate" losing all leverage in the process. And a loss of all capital and leverage is precisely what the GOP will "achieve" according to Politico, which clarified that "House Republicans told Obama that they could reopen the federal government by early next week if the president and Senate Democrats agree to their debt-ceiling proposal" - a proposal which Obama has already said he would accept. In other words, full capitulation by Boehner appears imminent. Politico adds: "President Barack Obama and House Republicans clashed in a meeting Thursday afternoon over how soon the government can be reopened, even as the GOP offered to lift the debt limit for six weeks, according to sources familiar with the session. Aides will continue the discussion through the night to see if they could find common ground on how to move forward on the debt limit and government funding."