Remember when one month ago the US, to much pomp and circumstance, not to mention one downgrade, announced a grand bargain raising the debt ceiling from $14.294 trillion to something much higher, with a stop gap intermediate ceiling of $14.694 trillion, or $400 billion more. Well, as of today, or less than a month since the expansion, total US debt is at $14.697 trillion. Yep - the total debt is again over the ceiling, which means the US debt increased by $400 billion in one month. Score one for fiscal prudence. And while the total debt subject to the limit is still slightly less, at $14.652, one week of Treasury auctions and will be time for Moody's to justify again why the US is a quadruple A credit.
Gross US Debt Surges By $240 Billion Overnight, US Debt To GDP Hits Post World War II High 97.2%, Official Debt Ceiling Increase Only $400 BillionSubmitted by Tyler Durden on 08/03/2011 18:06 -0400
Two things happened when the Senate voted in the "Bipartisan" plan into law yesterday: i) deferred debt on the Treasury's balance sheet finally caught up with reality, and ii) as a result of i) America's Debt/GDP just hit a post World War 2 High of 97.2%. Becasue as the Daily Treasury Statement as of last night indicates, total US marketable debt surged by $124.6 billion, while debt in intragovernmental holdings (Social Security, Government Retirement Accounts, etc), soared by $113.6 billion, for a combined one day change of $238.2 billion, the single biggest one day increase of US debt in history. Obviously this is a result of massive underfunding and disinvestment in the various government retirement accounts as well as due to deferred debt which was to be booked since the debt was breached on May 16. However, how marketable debt could increase by a whopping $125 billion without any actual auction settlement is slightly confusing. Just as confusing is that according to the endnote in the debt subject to limit calculation, the new ceiling is not the $900 billion increase as requested, but only $400 billion more than the $14.294 billion previous, or at $14.694 billion. We hope this is some Treasury type or misunderstanding as this new ceiling will be breached in a month. And the last thing we need is this whole debt ceiling drama back again in September. One thing there is no confusion about, however, is that based on the latest gross debt number of $14.581 trillion, and the just reported Q2 GDP of $15.003 billion, total US debt to GDP is now a post World War II high of 97.2% (and that excludes the GSE off balance sheet debt).
Ladies and Gentlemen, presenting the Greatest Farce on Earth...
Did we say debt ceiling? We meant debt target. The important thing is that the soap opera is over! Market reaction? None. And now back to your regularly scheduled economic collapse, only this time with 120% debt/GDP.
The farce is ending. Watch the Senate vote on the debt ceiling live below. The vote is expected to pass comfortably.
And like that the Congressional circus is over 269 to 161. Market reaction? ES sells off 5, then rallies 3, and now is selling off again. Next up - the Senate but that is a given. So now that we know that America is not going to file for bankruptcy tomorrow on we go to the economic collapse.
Two weeks ago we presented a chart that shows the uncanny correlation between the debt ceiling and the price of gold. Now that we know the final amount of the next debt ceiling hike, somewhere in the $2.5 trillion ballpark, it allows us to extrapolate where gold will end up as a result of the debt ceiling hike which will likely be voted into law at 7pm PDT. A simple correlation rule of thumb allows us to predict that gold will be at $1,950 by the end of the year if it simply retains it close correlation to the debt ceiling. Should Bernanke announce that he will additionally need to monetize some or all of this incremental debt amount, we anticipate that gold will be well over $2,000 by the end of the year, courtesy of yet another round of accelerated dollar debasement, which also means that real gains in US stocks will be negated courtesy of the devaluation of the currency in which they are priced. The same, however, does not apply for gold, which with every passing day is priced in nothing but itself.
Treasury To Issue $331 Billion In Debt In Fiscal Q4, $660 Billion Gross, Expects Debt Ceiling To Be RaisedSubmitted by Tyler Durden on 08/01/2011 15:26 -0400
Tim Geithner has released his projection of expected borrowing needs for the final fiscal quarter of 2011 (ending on September 30). But before that, we learn that while back on May 1 the Treasury had expected to raise $142 billion in marketable debt in Q3, instead if raised $190 billion, with the difference going primarily to build up the EOQ cash balance which instead of being $95 billion, was $137 billion, obviously due to the threat of the debt ceiling breach. That threat however has not prevented the Treasury from assuming that the debt ceiling will be raised without a hitch, and it now predicts issuing $331 billion in net marketable debt issued in Q4, $74 billion less than the projection from May 1 (and further sees another $285 billion in borrowing needs in Q1 2012). In other words, if there is no debt ceiling deal, the Treasury will be $616 billion short in revenues over the next 6 months. Of course, the numbers net out the massive issuance that has to hit the market to fund the "disinvested" government retirement funds and various other mechanism that were used to prevent the Treasury from running out of cash, which amount to about $300 billion primarily in the form of short-term bills that matured and were not rolled over to make space for marketable debt issuance. In other words, gross issuance in the next quarter will be about over $660 billion. This is just a little under the total debt issued in the last 3 quarters (due to the May 16th debt ceiling breach)! And people think the Treasury can raise this money without the Fed monetizing at will? Fascinating.
There's a drunken debt party going on right here...
With the debt ceiling "compromise" deal still in flux, although at least according to the FX market expected to be approved shortly, despite the protestations of liberal democrats (one wonders if Obama will accuse said group of hostage tactics much as he accused conservative republicans of the same last week), below is what the current shape of the proposed deal looks like courtesy of the WSJ's Washington Wire blog.
This could very well be another red herring like the NYT article from two weeks ago that proved to be a dud, but for what it's worth according to ABC's Jonathan Karl, the White House and the GOP have just reached a tentative deal as follows...
It's time for your daily teleprompted brainwashing. Frontal lobes: out.
Giant Banks Lobby to Raise the Debt Ceiling and Slash Public Benefits ... So They Can Keep Sucking at the Public TeatSubmitted by George Washington on 07/28/2011 14:30 -0400
The debt crisis might be real ... I've been warning about it for years.
The potential downgrade to America's credit is real ... I've been warning about that for years, as well.
But the way that the rating agencies and Wall Street are approaching the debt ceiling debate is a scam.
The latest meaningless headlines from White House spokesman Jay Carney:
- CARNEY SAYS NO REASON TO REPEAT DEBT DEBATE LATER THIS YEAR Except for retaining Obama's job of course
- CARNEY SAYS AMERICAN PEOPLE WANT COMPROMISE ON DEBT LIMIT Preferably the democrat compromise which saves a few quadrillion by not launching war on Mars?
- And sure enough there it is: CARNEY SAYS REID PROPOSAL REPRESENTS COMPROMISE
- CARNEY SAYS SENATE WILL REJECT BOEHNER DEBT PROPOSAL
- CARNEY SAYS TREASURY WILL EXPLAIN HOW IT WILL MANAGE FINANCES
- CARNEY SAYS BOEHNER PLAN VOTE WILL NOT LEAD TO COMPROMISE
- CARNEY SAYS CONGRESS `CONTROLS OUR FATE' ON DEBT LIMIT
- CARNEY SAYS ONGOING DEBATE HAS HAD NEGATIVE IMPACT ON ECONOMY
- CARNEY SAYS `NO QUESTION' BOEHNER PROPOSAL IS `POLITICAL ACT'
Bottom line: algos now using every appearance of the word "compromise" in a headline as buying trigger.
For the record, I still believe that there will not be a breach of the debt ceiling and no overt default for the US. Things will be worked out in the nick of time, like they always are. However, the media is full of articles wondering about what ‘investors’ might do in response to a US default and/or credit downgrade. What will happen to Treasury prices? Will they go down as investors dump them en masse in response to a credit downgrade forcing interest rates to climb? It’s a big question and the most likely answer is “No, not really”. Partly because these so-called investors have been well-conditioned to believe that another bailout is always around the corner, but mainly because they have nowhere to go. The big money is trapped... The Treasury market is the largest and most liquid in the world, by far. For many big money funds there really aren’t any realistic options other than the Treasury market, and this present reality will limit the market reaction to any downgrade.