Tyler Durden / ZeroHedge
As of Friday, total US debt subject to the limit was $16.006 trillion, or $387 billion below the latest and greatest official debt ceiling. In the past 3 months the US has been raising debt at a slower pace than usual precisely for this reason. Debt issuance will now pick up at far faster pace as the trendline mean reversion reasserts itself. It means that sometime over the next few months, and certainly before the end of the year, the US debt ceiling will be breached (with all the usual tactics employed to delay this event from happening as much as possible, including resuming the pillaging of various government retirement funds) as the Treasury itself warned. It also means that either just before or just after the presidential election, the topic of the debt ceiling will be once again upon us. As a reminder, the reason why the market plunged back in August of 2011 is because as the GOP proved unwilling to compromise, suddenly everyone, led by Tim Geithner, realized just how close to a failed auction, read endgame, the US was, and the dire need for a wake up call became paramount. Furthermore as is well-known, the only stimulus Pavlovian politicians react to is a market collapse, which not only instills the fear of the “401(k)” god falling to earth, but lights up the switchboards as concerned “voters” suddenly realize that all their mark-to-Bernanke’s market “wealth” may disappear in a puff of smoke. It is now, courtesy of Bob Woodward, that we learn just how close we came. And since the polarity and discord in Congress after the election, already at record levels, will soar to new all time highs after November, it is safe to say that the debt ceiling debacle deja vu is coming, and this time it will make the first one seem like child’s play.
From the WaPo’s “Inside story of Obama’s struggle to keep Congress from controlling outcome of debt ceiling crisis” – excerpts:
The president told his senior staff that the call with Boehner had led nowhere.
“So we’ve got to figure out Plan B. Which is, how do we get out of this thing?” he said.
The problem was that they did not have a Plan B.
It was increasingly clear that no one was running Washington. That was trouble for everyone, but especially for Obama. Although running things is a joint venture between the president and Congress, a president has to dominate Congress — or at least be seen as dominating Congress. The last president to fold was George H.W. Bush, who gave in to Democrats’ demands that income taxes be raised in a 1990 budget deal. And Bush had been a one-term president.
When Obama learned that the deal negotiated among the congressional leaders would require a two-step increase in the debt limit, he told Rob Nabors, the White House director of legislative affairs, “The one thing I said I actually needed, they didn’t get,” referring to Reid and Pelosi. “I needed this to go past the election, and they didn’t get it for me. This can’t work.”
Obama sent word that he wanted the two Democratic leaders at the White House at 6 p.m. that Sunday, July 24. No reason was given.