Thursday, July 28, 2011

Debt Ceiling Charade impacting Short-Term Credit Markets

by Bill McBride on 7/28/2011 10:36:00 PM

From the NY Times DealBook: Debt Ceiling Impasse Rattles Short-Term Credit Markets

Over the last week, big banks and companies have withdrawn $37.5 billion from money market funds that invest in Treasury debt and other ultra-safe securities, the biggest weekly drop this year. Meanwhile, in the vast market for repurchase agreements, in which many financial firms make short-term loans to one another, borrowers are beginning to demand higher yields.
From the WSJ: Default Worries Dry Up Lending
Banks ... are scrambling to design emergency plans to avoid a trading logjam in the huge markets for Treasurys and short-term funding facilities if Congress fails to raise the U.S. borrowing limits by next Tuesday's deadline.
...
Trading executives from the largest Wall Street dealers agreed on a Wednesday conference call, conducted by the industry trade group the Securities Industry Financial Markets Association, to a number of procedures to trade Treasury bonds if the U.S. misses a payment on its debt.
From CNBC: Will Debt Feud Clip Future Economic Growth?
Washington's political feuding over the deficit has damaged business and consumer sentiment in an already weak economy ...
I've heard comments from several executives this week that business has slowed sharply over the last week. People are getting nervous.

I've been trying to ignore the charade - obviously Congress will agree to raise the debt ceiling and pay the bills - but it is now impacting the economy.

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