Hello President Biden, the Ball Is In Your Court

Link: https://mishtalk.com/economics/hello-president-biden-the-ball-is-in-your-court



Key Provisions 

  • Claw back unspent Covid-19 funds.
  • Impose tougher work requirements for recipients of food stamps and other government aid.
  • Halt Biden’s plans to forgive up to $20,000 in student loans.
  • End many of the landmark renewable energy tax breaks Biden signed into law last year. It would tack on a sweeping Republican bill to boost oil, gas and coal production.

Hello Joe, the Ball is in Your Court

Republicans only had 4 votes to spare but with some last minute haggling, the bill passed 217-215. 

It wasn’t a pretty serve by McCarthy, but the ball cleared the net and landed in play.

The only way to get the ball back in the Republican court would be for the Senate to pass a measure or amend the House bill.

Author(s): Mike Shedlock

Publication Date: 8 May 2023

Publication Site: Mish Talk

Credit Default Swaps Imply a Two Percent Chance the US Defaults

Link: https://mishtalk.com/economics/credit-default-swaps-imply-a-two-percent-chance-the-us-defaults



The implied odds are two percent but contract trading is very thin. And some of the protection is mandatory.  If regulators raise risk flags, some banks feel compelled to buy insurance. 

So most likely the true odds of default are much lower.

There is also a three day grace period. We could have a default, but if it is rectified within three days, those betting on a default will be technically correct yet receive no payout.

I believe the odds of a payout on these contracts is essentially zero. But yeah, if there is a default for a couple of days, there will be “chaos” as several people on Twitter have commented. 

Author(s): Mike Shedlock

Publication Date: 21 Apr 2023

Publication Site: Mish Talk

Does the GOP Want a Government Default So It Can Kill Social Security?

Link: https://jacobin.com/2023/01/republicans-debt-ceiling-shock-doctrine-spending-cuts


The debt ceiling is normally a dull topic, and many have understandably neglected to follow along. To recap, the debt ceiling is the artificial cap Congress places on the amount of money the government can borrow. As Secretary of the Treasury Janet Yellen and others have pointed out, there is little practical reason for the debt ceiling to exist at all. From a technical point of view, it is a formality to authorize the Treasury to pay bills the government has already incurred. Through creative accounting, the Treasury can keep paying for a few more months, and then it will have to stop unless Congress votes to raise the debt ceiling.

All sides agree that the US government deliberately defaulting on debts would be the financial equivalent of an atom bomb, causing immediate painful shocks across the world economy and unpredictable long-term effects. In order to avoid this scenario, voting to raise the debt ceiling is usually a matter of course — though the number of near and actual government shutdowns from Congress playing chicken with the ceiling have increased in recent decades.

But it might be different this time. As Politico reported last week, a number of former government officials who negotiated during previous standoffs over the debt ceiling think there’s much less room for a negotiated settlement this year.

The main reason is that, at least on the surface, House Speaker Kevin McCarthy is in a weak position, effectively held hostage by conditions that were imposed on him by the most extreme members of the House Republican conference during his election to speaker. Those conditions specifically require significant spending cuts in exchange for raising the debt ceiling.


Democrats also argue that though Republicans insist on reducing spending, they have refused to make specific demands for what they want cut. Here is where The Shock Doctrine might provide a hint of what’s to come. The idea of privatizing Social Security has been “lying around” since George W. Bush’s presidency. Joe Biden himself has a long, well-documented history of trying to cut Social Security and Medicare, though in public statements since 2020 he has consistently said he would not agree to do so.

Kevin McCarthy and other Republicans have repeatedly floated the idea of cutting the popular programs over the past year. While McCarthy appeared to abruptly back off the idea of cutting Social Security and Medicare as part of the debt ceiling negotiations on Sunday, his ambiguous promise to “strengthen” the programs without specifying what that means leaves plenty of room for privatization.

Author(s): Ben Beckett

Publication Date: 31 Jan 2023

Publication Site: Jacobin

McConnell Won’t Block Debt Ceiling Increase, Says He Wants Democrats To ‘Proudly Own It’



Congressional showdowns over the debt limit are nothing new, but this time around there’s a unique wrinkle. The House approved a bill on Tuesday night with what was essentially a party-line vote that paves the way for Congress to avoid a possible default on the national debt in the coming weeks. Here’s the tricky part: “The measure would create a special pathway—to be used only once, before mid-January—for the Senate to raise the debt limit by a specific amount with a simple majority vote, allowing Democrats to steer clear of a filibuster or other procedural hurdles so that Republicans would have no means to block it,” The New York Times reports.

The upshot, assuming this deal holds up long enough to avert the December 15 deadline for raising the debt limit, is that there won’t be another showdown like this before the midterm elections next November.

Author(s):Eric Boehm

Publication Date:8 Dec 2021

Publication Site:Reason

Bond Yields Have Been On a Tear Since August 4. What’s Going On?

Link: https://mishtalk.com/economics/bond-yields-have-been-on-a-tear-since-august-4-whats-going-on



Five Factors Spooking the Bond Market and Impact

Debt Ceiling Battle: Short Term, Low Impact

Supply Chain Disruptions: Medium Term, Medium Impact

Trade Deficit: Long Term, Low-to-Medium Impact

Biden’s Build Back Better Spending Plans: Long Term, High Impact

Wage Spiral: Long Term, High Impact

Author(s): Mike Shedlock

Publication Date: 8 Oct 2021

Publication Site: Mish Talk