Federal Financing Bank

US Treasury "Rises Above" The Debt Ceiling - Now What?

When Tim Geithner announced an hour ago that the US debt ceiling will officially be "risen above" on December 31, he stated that there are approximately two months in which the Treasury can take emergency measures to delay the actual debt ceiling breach, a moment in time which we believe will take place some time in March. Upon further reflection, with the automatic spending cuts and tax hikes that will take place on January 1, the irony is that the debt ceiling extension may last materially longer due to a substantial reduction in the US budget deficit, potentially pushing the final threshold to as late April or even May which means the political theater is going to last for even longer than we expected - something which both parties now appear set to capitalize on as much as possible. So the question now is what are the options before Tim Geithner and what are the "emergency measures" the Treasury take to delay the inevitable moment when one of three things happens: i) the US hikes its ceiling, ii) the US begins living within its means, iii) the US defaults on its debt. Since the third, and certainly second are impossible, and since the debt ceiling theater is something we all lived through as recently as 2011, here is the article we penned in January 2011, when that long ago debt ceiling of a mere $14.3 trillion was about to be breached, and whose ultimate rise required a 20% market plunge together with an S&P downgrade of the then pristine US AAA rating (an event which Tim Geithner had said shortly prior there is no risk of ever occuring), answering precisely this question.

Treasury Inspector General Opens Probe Into Obama's Solargate

In the latest installment of what is rapidly becoming Obama's Keynesian Solargate, we learn that the Treasury Department's Inspector General has opened an investigation of the now defunct $528 million government loan to Solyndra which has no chance of getting repaid, following what will be a pennies on the dollar liquidation of the company, especially since it is primed by a $75 million term loan to George Kaiser, a documented Obama "bundler" as was documented previously. Per the AP, "A spokesman said Thursday that the inspector general is reviewing the role and actions of the Federal Financing Bank, a government corporation supervised by the Treasury Department. The bank provided the low-interest loan to the Fremont, Calif.-based company." The "concern" is that Obama has pushed levers to get the investment in a venture controlled by a "friend" on a fasttrack, with the White House Office Of Management Supervision urging the DOE to release the funds without proper diligence. "The House energy committee released documents Wednesday that appeared to show senior staff at the White House Office of Management and Budget chafing about having to conduct "rushed approvals" of a loan guarantee for Solyndra. Republican members of the committee said the emails raised questions about whether the loan was rushed to accommodate a Solyndra groundbreaking ceremony in September 2009 that featured Vice President Joe Biden and Energy Secretary Steven Chu." And while there is more, we will spare the Treasury IG some time (assuming he is at least a little less corrupt than everyone else in the administration and actually plan on conducting a legitimate investigation) and advise him to simply look at campaign and other contributions by Solyndra's equity backers which features the George Kaiser Family Foundation, U.S. Venture Partners, CMEA Ventures, Redpoint Ventures, Virgin Green Fund, Madrone Capital Partners, RockPort Capital Partners, Argonaut Private Equity, Masdar and Artis Capital Management. When in doubt, always follow the buck... especially when it is looking for a very fast turnaround courtesy of taxpayer capital IRR padding.