US Treasury Secretary Jack Lew has written House Speaker John Boehner asking congress to extend the Treasury's borrowing authority. In a letter to the Speaker, Sec. Lew wrote:
"Based on our best and most recent information, however, we are not confident that the extraordinary measures will last beyond Thursday, February 27. At that point, Treasury would be left with only the cash on hand and any incoming revenue to meet our country's commitments."
Basically, Treasury is worried it's going to run out of money and it wants to be authorized to borrow more. Of course, this isn't the first time raising the debt ceiling has come up. And, the most recent couple of times have been messy what with the president channeling his inner Judge Smails when dealing with congressional Republicans ("You'll get nothing and like it!").
(More: CNBC's Obamacare coverage)
For those outside of Washington who care about how the US government spends tax dollars, there's some good news and some bad news. The good news is that the Congressional Budget Office estimates that the 2014 deficit will be one-third the size of what it was in 2009. The bad news is that the deficit is estimated to be $514 billion, or about $55 billion more than what it was in the then-record year of 2008. The US debt is about $17.3 trillion (nearly $55,000 per American), with over $7 trillion accumulated since over the last six years alone.
So, will extending the debt ceiling again be as chaotic as before? Probably not, says CNBC contributor Andrew Busch, editor and publisher of The Busch Update.
"I think we're going to get past it pretty quickly," says Busch. "The Republicans know we don't want to redo October . That was a disaster for them, shutting down the government and risking default... It's only going to hurt them and they don't want to do anything to disrupt the focus on Obamacare and weak job growth."
Instead, Busch believes the GOP will hold off on any potentially futile effort to get concessions from President Obama and will instead look toward the November midterm elections to gain seats – and another congressional chamber.
"They've got a wonderful opening to take back the Senate," says Busch, "with Obamacare being so negative for a lot of Americans and, of course, the declining presidential approval ratings which hover around 40% to 42%."
Meanwhile, the benchmark interest rate for US government debt, the 10-year Treasury note, is now below 2.7% after breaking above 3% at the end of 2013. Fears of global uncertainty led investors to dump stocks in favor of the relative safety of US government bonds (bond yields fall as bond prices rise).
Talking Numbers contributor Richard Ross, Global Technical Strategist at Auerbach Grayson, believes the 10-year bond upcoming moves will be about the stock market than anything else.
"The 10-year yield is really your metaphor for greed and fear," says Ross, who note that yields tested their 200-day moving average of 2.56% last week at the same time the Dow Jones Industrial Average tested its own 200-day moving average in the 15,470 area. "I think you have a compelling buying opportunity in stocks at the 200-day, and a 'buying' opportunity, if you will, in yields on that pullback to the 200-day."
In other words, he sees stock prices rising. At the same time he believes bond prices will fall, bringing the yield back up to around 3%.
To see the charts Ross says show higher interest rates ahead and to see more of Busch's fundamental take on the latest round of debt ceiling talks, watch the video above.
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