Comment: Debt ceiling holiday expires 5-19, after $400B more racked-up.

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Debt ceiling holiday expires 5-19, after $400B more racked-up.

The Debt Ceiling Is Back

While many may not recall that the US has been without an official debt ceiling for the past three months, or even that it has a debt target ceiling, the bonus period agreed upon in January to let the nation rake up some $400 billion in addition debt in the past few months, officially runs out tomorrow, May 19, when the debt limit will be restored to its previous level plus the debt that was incurred in the interim, which means around $16.735 trillion in total debt as of yesterday, plus the amount incurred today, excluding the debt not subject to the cap which is about $30 billion. And since no grand bargain is forthcoming in a world in which official governance is now almost universally in the hands of the world's central bankers and out of the hands of the theatrical career politicians, it means that the next deadline in the endless US debt ceiling saga will be the day when the extraordinary measures to extend the debt ceiling run out.

Such a deadline will likely be hit in just over three months. As the WSJ reports:

Mr. Lew said the Treasury would be able to use the same extraordinary measures that the department deployed during the last debt-ceiling standoff at the start of the year. Those include halting investments in government worker retiree funds and drawing down some accounts.

“Treasury is not able to provide a specific estimate of how long the extraordinary measures will last,” Mr. Lew said.