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By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

7/16/2013 (8 months ago)

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

Debt has remained approximately $25 million below the legal limit during this time

The federal debt, currently subject to a legal limit of $16,699,421,095,673.60 has stood at exactly $16,699,396,000,000.00 for 56 straight days. In other words, it has been 56 straight days the federal debt has remained approximately $25 million below the legal limit.

Treasury Secretary Jack Lew said the Treasury would begin implementing what he called 'the standard set of extraordinary measures' in the letter that allows the Treasury to continue to borrow and spend money even after it has hit the legal debt limit.

Treasury Secretary Jack Lew said the Treasury would begin implementing what he called "the standard set of extraordinary measures" in the letter that allows the Treasury to continue to borrow and spend money even after it has hit the legal debt limit.

Article Highlights

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

7/16/2013 (8 months ago)

Published in Business & Economics

Keywords: Treasury, debt, federal debt, Treasury Secretary Lew


LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - Even though the portion of the federal debt that is subject to a legal limit, it has not changed in almost two months. In the meantime, the Treasury has continued to sell bills, notes and bonds at a value that exceeds the value of the bills, notes and bonds it has been redeeming.

The "public debt subject to limit," as the Treasury calls the portion of the federal debt that is legally limited by Congress. That limit first hit $16,699,396,000,000.00 at the close of business on May 17.

The Treasury had already redeemed approximately $4,776,995,000,000.00 in U.S. debt instruments (bills, notes and bonds) that had matured, at that point in fiscal 2013, according to the Daily Treasury Statement.

The Treasury had simultaneously issued $5,354,508,000,000.00 in new debt instruments. In short, on net as of May 17, the part of the federal government's debt publicly circulated in instruments likes bills, notes and bonds had increased $577,513,000,000 for the fiscal year.

On July 12, the latest day reported by the Treasury, the Treasury had redeemed approximately $5,848,194,000,000.00 in debt and issued approximately another $6,477,293,000,000.00, meaning the publicly circulated debt has increased by a net of $629,099,000,000 so far this year.

Thus, over the past 56 days, the net value of U.S. Treasury Securities circulating in the public has increased by $51.586 billion ($629,099,000,000 minus $577,513,000,000).

On May 17, the day the debt flat-lined at $16,699,396,000,000.00, Treasury Secretary Jack Lew sent a letter to House Speaker John Boehner.

Lew said the Treasury would begin implementing what he called "the standard set of extraordinary measures" in the letter that allows the Treasury to continue to borrow and spend money even after it has hit the legal debt limit.

How many days did Lew think he could keep the debt just under the debt limit while the Treasury continued to borrow money?

"The effective duration of the extraordinary measures is subject to considerable uncertainty due to a variety of factors, including the unpredictability of tax receipts, changes in expenditure flows under the sequester, and the normal challenges of forecasting the payments and receipts of the U.S. government months into the future."

Lew went on to say, however, that "it is now clear that the measures will not be exhausted until after Labor Day."

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