Something very notable happened today receiving exactly zero recognition by the mainstream press: the process of winding down the Supplementary Financing Program ended, with either zero (assuming the entire $25 billion in 56 Day CMB matured without rolling) or $5 billion (as per the Treasury’s disclosure), remaining under the SFP. This means that the entire $200 billion buffer that had previously afforded the Treasury breathing room with the looming debt ceiling, is now gone, and next steps include such drastic measures as a partial or complete government shutdown, as no incremental funding will be available to fund the daily deficit. As a reminder, as of today the Treasury had a total of $12.24 trillion in debt, just $70 billion below the ceiling, and $14.172 of debt subject to the limit. Which is not good because as per today’s refunding announcement there is $99 billion in 2, 5 and & 7 year debt coming down the line next week. Which means that while the formal debt ceiling will not be breached, the total amount of debt including the fluff not counted, will surpass $12.4 trillion by next Friday. In the meantime, the SFP unwind continues to have a major impact on the adjusted monetary base. As we have discussed in the past, excess reserves continue to go parabolic, purely as a function of the SFP unwind and ongoing QE2, which in turn is impacting the adjusted monetary base, which is now half a trillion greater year to date. As we predicted previously, excess reserves will hit $1.7 trillion by the summer. These rose by $72 billion in the past week to approximately $1.4 trillion, which means that by the time QE2 is over, the Adjusted Monetary Base will hit $2.7 trillion, a $750 billion increase in 6 months. And if QE3 gets the green light, all bets are off. And once this surging monetary base is converted from excess reserves to currency in circulation, that is the moment when Weimar comes a-knockin’.
The AMB chart that speaks volumes (link).
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