debt ceiling

Treasury Department Issues Reminder About Debt Limit Deal Expiration

“They are going to be in a crisis within weeks. The debt ceiling was suspended arbitrarily until March 15. When it comes back into effect there will be $20 trillion of debt. And before they can do anything on all of this stimulus they’re talking about they’re going to have to raise the debt ceiling and where are the votes going to come from? It’s going to make 2011, if you remember the debt ceiling crisis in 2011, look like a Sunday school picnic. We’re in bad shape.”

-David Stockman, Director of the Office of Management and Budget under President Reagan, speaking on the FOX Business Channel on January 25, 2017

Last Wednesday, the U.S. Department of the Treasury issued the following reminder about the March 15 expiration of the debt limit deal reached two years ago. From a press release on their website:

The debt limit places a limitation on the total amount of money that the United States government is authorized to borrow to meet its existing legal obligations, including Social Security and Medicare benefits, military salaries, interest on the national debt, tax refunds, and other payments. The debt limit does not authorize new spending commitments. It simply allows the government to finance existing legal obligations that Congresses and presidents of both parties have made in the past.

The Bipartisan Budget Act suspended the debt limit through March 15, 2017. If Congress fails to increase or further suspend the debt limit by March 15, Treasury can take certain extraordinary measures to continue to finance the government on a temporary basis.

Extraordinary measures will allow the government to continue to meet its obligations for a period of time after March 15. That said, it is impossible to provide a precise forecast as to how long the extraordinary measures will last. Treasury will provide greater clarity at a later date regarding how long extraordinary measures will allow Treasury to continue to borrow…

(Editor’s note: Bold added for emphasis)

So how is this setting up for the next couple of weeks?

According to MarketWatch’s Greg Robb on on February 1:

During the Obama administration, Republicans in Congress sought to use the debt limit vote to force spending cuts.

Treasury Secretary nominee Steven Mnuchin said he would like to see Congress act to raise the debt limit “sooner rather than later.”

But Trump’s choice to head the Office of Management and Budget, Mick Mulvaney, was a leader of the House Republican effort to use the debt limit vote as a lever to reign in spending…

(Editor’s note: Bold added for emphasis)

Stay tuned folks…

By Christopher E. Hill
Survival And Prosperity (www.survivalandprosperity.com)

Source:

Robb, Greg. “Raising the debt ceiling is now Trump’s problem. MarketWatch. 1 Feb. 2017. (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/raising-the-debt-ceiling-is-now-trumps-problem-2017-02-01). 7 Feb. 2017.

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Tuesday, February 7th, 2017 Debt Crisis, Fiscal Policy, Government, Political Parties, Spending, Stimulus Comments Off on Treasury Department Issues Reminder About Debt Limit Deal Expiration

Peter Schiff: U.S. Will Become Either Greece Or Weimar Germany

“It’s hard to imagine what the country will look like when the dollar crashes. But one thing is certain; it will bear little resemblance to the America we know today.”

-Peter Schiff, CEO and Chief Global Strategist of Euro Pacific Capital, in an interview posted on The Daily Caller website, October 17, 2013

Yesterday we heard from two “crash prophets”– Dr. Marc Faber and Jim Rogers on finance and investing. Today, I want to bring up a third “prophet”- Euro Pacific Capital’s Peter Schiff- and talk about an interview he just did with Faith Braverman over at The Daily Caller website. Posted last Thursday, Braverman asked Schiff- who correctly predicted the U.S. housing crash and “Panic of ’08”- about what Americans should be on the lookout for as the real U.S. financial crash draws closer. Schiff advised:

You gotta follow the foreign exchange market, the value of the dollar vs. foreign currencies. The Federal Reserve keeps buying bonds to keep interest rates from rising. We have no choice but to default if creditors want their money back. If interest rates go up, we can’t afford that. That is why the Fed feels that it has to keep interest rates down at all costs. So the Federal Reserve prints more money to buy up bonds. That puts pressure on the dollar. Foreign central banks than buy those dollars to prevent their currencies form rising, which imposes costs on their own population, as they are forced to absorb our inflation.

There will be big spikes in commodity prices, like energy and food. Ultimately, we will be forced to make even bigger cuts than the ones we would have made now had the debt ceiling not been raised. Then we’ll be Greece, essentially. If we refuse, and keep spending, and the Fed prints even more money to buy the bonds no one else will buy, we’ll destroy the dollar and then we’ll be Weimar Germany. When the dollar collapses, what does that mean? Hyperinflation means you will have nothing. Your life savings will be worth nothing. We’re celebrating solving the debt ceiling, but we’ve only kicked the can down the road and removed the barrier between us and fiscal responsibility.

Later on in the exchange, the former U.S. Senate candidate suggested Americans should “get gold, silver, foreign assets, and buy up things that will have value after the dollar crashes.”

Braverman did a nice job on this interview, which can be read in its entirety on The Daily Caller website here.

By Christopher E. Hill, Editor
Survival And Prosperity (www.survivalandprosperity.com)

(Editor’s notes: Info added to “Crash Prophets” page; I am not responsible for any personal liability, loss, or risk incurred as a consequence of the use and application, either directly or indirectly, of any information presented herein.)

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Tuesday, October 22nd, 2013 Bonds, Commodities, Crash Prophets, Currencies, Defaults, Energy, Europe, Federal Reserve, Fiscal Policy, Food, Interest Rates, Investing, Monetary Policy, Money Supply, Precious Metals, Savings, Spending Comments Off on Peter Schiff: U.S. Will Become Either Greece Or Weimar Germany

Quote For The Week

“If you didn’t notice, gold shot higher by 4% in the wake of Congress announcing its non-solution to the government shutdown and the debt ceiling. The circus clowns did nothing more than agree to temporarily raise the debt ceiling and push the fight back a few months. The gold market sees this for what it is: a continuation of the same American fiscal imprudence that got us to this place to begin with. Nothing ever changes in Washington. Same crap; different day. Gold prices have come down in the last year because the speculators fled and the price fell to its natural level. But want to know why the price hasn’t crashed? Look no further than your local congressional chimp.”

-Erika Nolan and Jeff Opdyke in the October 20 issue of the Sovereign Digest, a weekly publication from The Sovereign Society, a Delray, Florida-based organization which provides its global membership trusted sources of information about overseas investing, asset protection, and currency trading

(Editor’s note: I am not responsible for any personal liability, loss, or risk incurred as a consequence of the use and application, either directly or indirectly, of any information presented herein.)

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Sunday, October 20th, 2013 Commodities, Debt Crisis, Fiscal Policy, Government, Investing, Precious Metals, Quote For The Week, Spending Comments Off on Quote For The Week

Jim Rogers: ‘Possible That Gold Will Go To Between 900 and 1,000’

On September 18, investor, author, and financial commentator Jim Rogers chatted with host Lauren Lyster of Yahoo! Finance’s The Daily Ticker. Gold was one of the topics they discussed. From their exchange:

LYSTER: What about gold? Because you were dead on. You said gold could go to 1,200, gold could go to 1,100, it’s a 12-year bull market, that’s not normal. It did exactly that. It went to about 1,200. Now it’s above 13. Where do you think it goes though? Because you also said that it really needed to shake out all the faithful diehards. That it can go as low as 900- a 50 percent correction wouldn’t bee abnormal. So do you think gold still has a lot lower to go?
ROGERS: Well, I’m delighted you remember. My goodness. Wow, I’m very impressed. Yes, I have not bought gold- yet. I mean, I bought a little bit when it was at 1,200, in case. But, in my view, it’s likely, it’s probable, it’s even, well let’s say, possible that gold will go to between 900 and 1,000. If it does, if it does, I hope I’m smart enough to buy a lot more.

Lyster went on to say:

A lot of the bearish predictions that had people buying gold haven’t played out and don’t seem to be on the horizon anymore.

Regrettably, it sounds like Lyster has been partaking in the Kool-Aid being doled out by the politicians and central bankers.

Based on a waffling “recovery” marked by a federal funds rate still near zero, years of trillion-dollar federal budget deficits, a $16.7 trillion federal borrowing limit being reached, significant part-time as opposed to full-time national job creation, an unemployment rate falling because Americans are giving up looking for work, and the Fed’s refusal to take away the punch bowl just yet and sustain the massive money printing going on, one could argue that gold’s fundamentals not only remain intact, but keep getting stronger.

“Bearish predictions… haven’t played out and don’t seem to be on the horizon anymore.” Hogwash. The threats to our economy and larger financial system that made themselves known during the “Panic of ’08 still linger on 5 years later and have never been resolved- only papered-over for the time being.


“Gold Rallies on Fed’s Taper Delay: Jim Rogers Forecasts a Drop to $900 Ahead”
Yahoo! Finance Video

By Christopher E. Hill, Editor
Survival And Prosperity (www.survivalandprosperity.com)

(Editor’s notes: Info added to “Crash Prophets” page; I am not responsible for any personal liability, loss, or risk incurred as a consequence of the use and application, either directly or indirectly, of any information presented herein.)

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U.S. Treasury: Debt Limit Reached By Mid-October

U.S. Treasury Secretary Jacob Lew warned Congress yesterday that the United States will hit its $16.7 trillion debt ceiling in mid-October. Lew wrote in a letter addressed to Speaker of the House John Boehner:

I am writing to provide additional information regarding the Treasury Department’s ability to continue to finance the government, and the extraordinary measures we have undertaken in order to avoid default. On May 17, I wrote to inform you that the U.S. government has reached the statutory debt limit and had begun to implement extraordinary measures. As I stated in that letter, Congress should act as soon as possible to protect America’s good credit by extending normal borrowing authority well before any risk of default becomes imminent.

Based on our latest estimates, extraordinary measures are projected to be exhausted in the middle of October. At that point, the United States will have reached the limit of its borrowing authority, and Treasury would be left to fund the government with only the cash we have on hand on any given day. The cash balance at that time is currently forecasted to be approximately $50 billion…

You can read Secretary Lew’s entire letter on the Treasury Department’s website here (.pdf file).

By Christopher E. Hill, Editor
Survival And Prosperity (www.survivalandprosperity.com)

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Tuesday, August 27th, 2013 Borrowing, Debt Crisis, Defaults, Fiscal Policy, Government, Spending Comments Off on U.S. Treasury: Debt Limit Reached By Mid-October

U.S. Reaches $16.4 Trillion Debt Limit

You may have been distracted by events related to New Year’s Day and negotiations over the “fiscal cliff” to notice that the United States reached its authorized debt ceiling of $16.394 trillion on New Year’s Eve. Rich Barbieri and Jeanne Sahadi reported on the CNN Money website Monday morning:

It’s official: U.S. debt reached its legal borrowing limit Monday, giving Congress about two months before it must raise the debt ceiling or risk causing the government to default on its bills and financial obligations.

“I can confirm we will reach the statutory debt limit today, Dec. 31,” a Treasury Department official said Monday.

As for increasing the nation’s debt ceiling yet again, U.S. President Barack Obama doesn’t want debate from Congress on the subject. From Reuters this morning:

President Barack Obama vowed on Tuesday to avoid a repeat of last year’s divisive fight with Congress over an extension of the nation’s borrowing authority.

“While I will negotiate over many things, I will not have another debate with this Congress about whether or not they should pay the bills they have already racked up,” Obama said in remarks in the White House.

“I will not have another debate.” Hmm. Back on December 5, Zachary Goldfarb wrote on the Post Politics blog on the Washington Post website:

As part of the fiscal cliff negotiations, Obama has proposed effectively ending the need for Congress to periodically raise the debt limit, which Republicans have rejected.

I wonder if this proposal won’t be pushed again in the near future?

By Christopher E. Hill, Editor
Survival And Prosperity (http://www.survivalandprosperity.com)

Sources:

Barbieri, Rich and Sahadi, Jeanne. “It’s official: U.S. hits debt ceiling.” CNN Money. 31 Dec. 2012. (http://money.cnn.com/2012/12/31/news/economy/debt-ceiling/) 2 Jan. 2013.

“Obama Debt Ceiling Statement: Limit Increase Not Up For Debate After Fiscal Cliff Showdown.” Reuters. 2 Jan. 2013. (http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/01/02/obama-debt-ceiling-fiscal-cliff_n_2394164.html). 2 Jan. 2013.

Goldfarb, Zachary A. “Obama on debt ceiling fight: ‘I will not play that game.’” Post Politics. 5 Dec. 2012. (http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/post-politics/wp/2012/12/05/obama-on-debt-ceiling-i-will-not-play-that-game/). 2 Jan. 2013.

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Wednesday, January 2nd, 2013 Borrowing, Debt Crisis, Defaults, Fiscal Policy, Government, Political Parties, Spending Comments Off on U.S. Reaches $16.4 Trillion Debt Limit

Peter Schiff Warns Obama Debt Limit Proposal Could Shock America’s Creditors ‘Into Reality’

“The U.S. runs out of federal borrowing authority around the end of the year, but the Obama administration can use special measures to extend borrowing through late February or early March. As part of the fiscal cliff negotiations, Obama has proposed effectively ending the need for Congress to periodically raise the debt limit.”

-Washington Post website, December 5, 2012

Peter Schiff, President and Chief Global Strategist of Euro Pacific Capital, talked about the looming U.S. “fiscal cliff” and a White House proposal to give the President the power to raise the nation’s debt “ceiling” as needed in his December 3 entry on The Schiff Report YouTube video blog. Schiff, who correctly-predicted the bursting of the U.S. housing bubble and 2008 global economic crisis, zeroed in on the debt limit proposal:

This could be a moment where our creditors maybe get shocked into reality. To understand the situation that they are in, that we are in. That there is no limit. That we will borrow money until we can’t do it anymore. That we’re not going to do anything about this crisis. We’re not going to do anything to diffuse this ticking bomb. It’s simply going to go off. And I think our creditors are going to want to put as much distance as they can between themselves and the explosion. They’re going to want to sell dollars. They’re going to want to sell debt denominated in dollars. What is that going to mean? A weaker dollar and higher consumer prices for Americans. It ultimately means higher interest rates for Americans. It means the rug is going to be pulled out from the slowing economy. It means we’re going to go over the Mother of All Fiscal Cliffs, and one that is impossible to avoid.

So, my advice is don’t wait for that. Get out of your dollars. I’ve been saying this for a while, but I think the urgency, and the time with which to do it, is going to be running out. So you get out of your dollars. Get out of any debt denominated in any dollars. Because we’re not going to pay our bills, we’re going to inflate them away, which is the same thing as default. So you don’t want to ride out that inflation. You want to get out of U.S. currency. You want to look at foreign currencies where the governments are much less irresponsible. Look at real money. Look at gold and silver. Look at foreign stocks if they’re suitable that pay dividends. Do whatever you can to get out of Dodge, because just when the government assures you that there’s nothing to worry about, that’s the time where you need to worry the most.


“Debt Ceiling & the Fiscal Cliff”
YouTube Video

(Editor’s notes: Info added to “Crash Prophets” page; I am not responsible for any personal liability, loss, or risk incurred as a consequence of the use and application, either directly or indirectly, of any information presented herein)

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Wednesday, December 5th, 2012 Borrowing, Commodities, Crash Prophets, Credit, Currencies, Debt Crisis, Fiscal Policy, Government, Inflation, Interest Rates, Investing, Monetary Policy, Monetization, Money Supply, Precious Metals, Propaganda, Spending, Stocks Comments Off on Peter Schiff Warns Obama Debt Limit Proposal Could Shock America’s Creditors ‘Into Reality’

U.S. To Reach $16.4 Trillion Debt Ceiling By End Of Year

The federal government keeps spending… and the nation’s financial health keeps on deteriorating. Rachelle Younglai wrote on the Reuters website last night:

The Obama administration said on Wednesday that the nation would hit the legal limit on its debt near the year’s end, although it can tap emergency measures to stave off a default and keep the government running into early 2013.

As of Monday, the U.S. Treasury was $235 billion below the $16.4 trillion statutory ceiling on the amount it can borrow. That gives the government enough funds to pay its bills, including interest on its debt and retirement health benefits, until the end of the year, the Treasury said, reiterating a forecast it made in August.

So, the U.S. national debt is on track to reach $16.4 trillion by the end of 2012.

As I pointed out back on September 4 when the Treasury Department revealed the debt had surpassed $16 trillion:

When President George W. Bush took office, the national debt stood at $5.768 trillion.

By the time President Barack Obama occupied the White House, the national debt had risen significantly to $10.626 trillion.

During the Bush 2.0 administration, the national debt increased by $4.858 trillion.

So far in the Obama administration, the national debt has increased by $5.39 trillion.

Make that last figure around $5.8 trillion by the end of this year.

Our “financial reckoning day” is fast-approaching…

Source:

Younglai, Rachelle. “UPDATE 3-U.S. gov’t poised to hit debt limit before 2013.” Reuters. 31 Oct. 2012. (http://www.reuters.com/article/2012/10/31/usa-debt-idUSL1E8LV2LU20121031). 1 Nov. 2012.

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Beware The Super Congress?

This afternoon I was surfing the shooting sports news site AmmoLand.com when I came across the following warning from the gun rights group Gun Owners of America:

Gun owner registration … bans on semi-automatic firearms … adoption of a UN gun control treaty — all of these issues could very well be decided over the next 24 hours.

Both houses of Congress will be voting on a debt ceiling bill that establishes a legislative committee with TREMENDOUS powers. Fox News is calling this committee a SUPER CONGRESS, because its legislative proposals (which could include gun control provisions) CANNOT be filibustered or amended in the Senate or House.

Have you heard about this “Super Congress?” The Huffington Post’s Ryan Grim wrote back on July 23:

Debt ceiling negotiators think they’ve hit on a solution to address the debt ceiling impasse and the public’s unwillingness to let go of benefits such as Medicare and Social Security that have been earned over a lifetime of work: Create a new Congress.

This “Super Congress,” composed of members of both chambers and both parties, isn’t mentioned anywhere in the Constitution, but would be granted extraordinary new powers. Under a plan put forth by Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) and his counterpart Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.), legislation to lift the debt ceiling would be accompanied by the creation of a 12-member panel made up of 12 lawmakers — six from each chamber and six from each party.

Legislation approved by the Super Congress — which some on Capitol Hill are calling the “super committee” — would then be fast-tracked through both chambers, where it couldn’t be amended by simple, regular lawmakers, who’d have the ability only to cast an up or down vote. With the weight of both leaderships behind it, a product originated by the Super Congress would have a strong chance of moving through the little Congress and quickly becoming law. A Super Congress would be less accountable than the system that exists today, and would find it easier to strip the public of popular benefits. Negotiators are currently considering cutting the mortgage deduction and tax credits for retirement savings, for instance, extremely popular policies that would be difficult to slice up using the traditional legislative process.

(Editor’s notes: Italics added for emphasis)

Both Grim and the Post’s Michael McAuliff added yesterday morning:

Senate Democrats are exploring ways of giving the proposed “super Congress” even greater super powers, according to multiple news reports and congressional aides with knowledge of the plan.

Under the new proposal, if the new legislative body, made up of six Democrats and six Republicans from both chambers, doesn’t come up with a bill that cuts at least $1.5 trillion by Thanksgiving, entitlement programs will automatically be slashed.

Under the reported framework, legislation the new congressional committee writes would be fast-tracked through Congress and could not be filibustered or amended.

Returning to that AmmoLand piece and how a proposed Super Congress could potentially impact gun rights, GOA noted:

To understand what a huge deal this is, consider that House Speaker John Boehner is able to keep a mountain of gun control bills from coming to the floor of the House. That’s the power of the Speaker.

And in the Senate, we have been able to kill much of the gun control agenda by filibustering legislation (that is, requiring the Majority Leader to get a supermajority or 60 votes in order to pass gun control).

The most recent example of this occurred earlier this year when we defeated a radical, anti-gun judicial nomination (Goodwin Liu) using the filibuster. The filibuster has been our saving grace in the Senate, but that could be tossed within the next 24 hours.

Regarding the debt ceiling compromise, here’s what one legislative analyst (inside a Republican office on Capitol Hill) had to say:

Right now, we have limited protection from the schemes of the left – even if they have some Republican support, we have a speaker who wouldn’t bring horrible bills to the floor, and we have the Senate filibuster.

Both of these are rendered moot by the Super committee. There is NO Senate filibuster on the product they report. The Speaker CANNOT stop a vote in the House….

[Hence], 22 liberal Republicans can join the Congressional Democrats and the President in: Closing the gun show “loophole,” banning semi-automatic weapons, creating a national handgun registration, or ordering state gun laws moot.

While the idea of a Super Congress is being pitched as some super-efficient way of keeping this nation on-course in dealing with our massive debt, who’s not to say the responsibilities assigned to such a panel won’t be expanded down the road.

Stay tuned…

Sources:

Gun Owners of America. “Congress To Vote On Super Congress That Could Be Usurped to Impose Gun Control.” AmmoLand.com. 1 Aug. 2011. (http://www.ammoland.com/2011/08/01/congress-to-vote-on-super-congress-that-could-be-usurped-to-impose-gun-control/). 1 Aug. 2011.

Grim, Ryan. “’Super Congress’: Debt Ceiling Negotiators Aim To Create New Legislative Body.” Huffington Post. 23 July 2011. (http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/07/23/super-congress-debt-ceiling_n_907887.html). 1 Aug. 2011.

Grim, Ryan and McAulif, Michael. “Super Congress Getting Even More Super Powers In Debt Deal.” Huffington Post. 31 July 2011. (http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/07/31/super-congress-debt-ceiling-deficit-deal_n_914272.html). 1 Aug. 2011.

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Federal Reserve Wants End To Political Posturing By Addressing Potential U.S. Default?

I haven’t touched on the debt ceiling issue and related potential debt default by the United States as it’s my belief that the ongoing “debate” is just another example of political posturing, especially when one considers the fact that the nation’s debt ceiling has been raised 102 times since 1917, with 10 of those increases occurring since 2001. But tonight, America’s central bank is weighing in on the prospect of a default. From Reuters’ Kristina Cooke and Tim Ahmann this evening:

The Federal Reserve is actively preparing for the possibility that the United States could default as a deadline for raising the government’s $14.3 trillion borrowing limit looms, a top Fed policymaker said on Wednesday.

Charles Plosser, president of the Philadelphia Federal Reserve Bank, said the U.S. central bank has for the past few months been working closely with Treasury, ironing out what to do if the world’s biggest economy runs out of cash on August 2.

“We are in contingency planning mode,” Plosser told Reuters in an interview at the regional central bank’s headquarters in Philadelphia. “We are all engaged. … It’s a very active process.”

(Editor’s note: Italics added for emphasis)

Cooke and Ahmann also talked about the U.S. Treasury Department’s take on all this. From the article:

The Treasury has repeatedly said default was unthinkable and that there was no alternative to raising the debt ceiling. Plosser’s remarks marked the most extensive public comments yet on preparations for a default from a U.S. official.

A Treasury spokesperson could not be immediately reached for comment.

Bloomberg’s Wes Goodman and Cheyenne Hopkins discussed Treasury’s stance on raising the debt ceiling and a potential default back on July 6. They wrote:

The U.S. must raise its debt limit, the Treasury Department said after Reuters reported that officials are discussing legal options to stave off default if Congress fails to amend the ceiling by the Aug. 2 deadline.

“As we have said repeatedly over the past six months, there is no alternative to raising the debt limit,” Colleen Murray, a Treasury spokeswoman, said when contacted late yesterday in the U.S. “The only way to prevent a default crisis and protect America’s creditworthiness is to enact a timely debt limit increase, which we remain confident Congress will do.”

Considering the chaos in the global financial system that would likely result from not increasing the debt limit- and the tremendous pain the Federal Reserve would experience from an actual default- I have to wonder if Plosser is merely acting as a Fed mouthpiece here, with the central bank hoping his statements might induce a concerned public to contact their legislators and demand an end to the drawn-out posturing.

My prediction? The debt ceiling will be raised. And it will keep getting raised until we the hit the proverbial brick wall.

Sources:

Ahmann, Tim and Cooke, Kristina. “Exclusive: Fed planning for potential default.” Reuters. 20 July 2011. (http://www.reuters.com/article/2011/07/20/us-usa-debt-fed-idUSTRE76J6IT20110720). 20 July 2011.

Goodman, Wes and Hopkins, Cheyenne. “U.S. Treasury Department Says It Sees No Alternative to Raising Debt Limit.” Bloomberg. 6 July 2011. (http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2011-07-07/u-s-treasury-department-says-it-sees-no-alternative-to-raising-debt-limit.html). 20 July 2011.

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Wednesday, July 20th, 2011 Banking, Debt Crisis, Defaults, Federal Reserve, Government, Spending Comments Off on Federal Reserve Wants End To Political Posturing By Addressing Potential U.S. Default?
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