Thursday, 3 February 2011
The debt ceiling approaches
It is hard to believe there is a ceiling on US debt. Apparently, there is, and the Federal government is rapidly approaching it.
The U.S. Treasury Department today said it would keep its long-term borrowing at steady levels and warned that the federal debt limit could be reached as soon as April 5.
Mary Miller, the Treasury’s assistant secretary for financial markets, said the department so far is borrowing as usual while Congress debates when and how to raise the $14.29 trillion debt limit. Secretary Timothy F. Geithner has warned that the U.S. faces “catastrophic damage” if lawmakers do not act in time.
“We expect that Congress will do the right thing and raise the debt ceiling in a timely manner,” Miller said at a press conference.
The Treasury today said it plans to sell $72 billion in long-term debt next week, in line with the median forecast in a Bloomberg News survey of bond dealers. The department’s quarterly auctions will consist of $32 billion in three-year notes on Feb. 8, $24 billion in 10-year notes Feb. 9 and $16 billion in 30-year bonds Feb. 10.