Despite some people having it on good authority that the federal government shutdown isn’t actually a big deal, it must be noted that the stalemate is keeping federal prosecutors from doubling the number of Rajaratnams in jail. Read more »
Maybe John Boehner does have the votes for a clean debt-ceiling bill—at least one that could give a whole new meaning to the term “Black Friday.”
House Republicans, looking for a way out of a budget standoff they began, will offer to President Obama at a White House meeting Thursday a plan to increase the debt limit through Nov. 22, in exchange for a promise to negotiate a deal for long-term deficit reduction and a tax overhaul.
The debt ceiling increase could come to a vote as soon as Friday, but House Republicans did not intend to reopen the government, hoping that the shuttering of federal programs would keep the pressure on Democrats to compromise….
The White House press secretary, Jay Carney, declined to say whether Mr. Obama would sign a short-term debt limit increase, as the president suggested he would earlier this week. “We’ll see what the House Republicans propose, we’ll see what they’re able to pass,” Mr. Carney said.
So, in all likelihood: Hooray! No history-making default this month! And just in time, because some people were starting to get nervous, not that you could tell that a potential economic Armageddon was on the horizon from looking at the markets. Read more »
No progress—unless you consider this progress. No CFTC report on the things the CFTC reports on, joining all of the other reports that are not coming out. Still no concern that the lack of progress means there will be a default, even if John Boehner is now saying he wasn’t serious when he said he wouldn’t allow a default. Some people smelling opportunity. And a reminder that the Federal Reserve is not reliant on Congressional appropriations in a way that will be obvious to those whose ATMs dispense something other than $20 bills. Read more »
Ben Bernanke & co. are meeting in three-and-a-half weeks, and if Congress doesn’t get its shit together with enough time for them to digest the shutdown-delayed jobs report, they’ll probably just have to punt on bond-buying until the following FOMC meeting in mid-December, because there’s simply no other way to know what the jobs picture looks like without that report. Read more »
Someone Capitol Hill has maybe, possibly come to his senses, and it’s House Speaker John Boehner, who upon careful reflection has apparently decided that Obamacare is not, in fact, worse than forcing the first-ever U.S. sovereign debt default. He feels so strongly about it, in fact, that he’ll even break the sacrosanct Hastert Rule, a doctrine that House Republicans rank between the Bible and the Constitution in importance, to avoid it.
One lawmaker, who spoke on the condition of anonymity, said Mr. Boehner had indicated he would be willing to violate the so-called Hastert Rule if necessary to pass a debt-limit increase. The informal rule refers to a policy of not bringing to the floor any measure that does not have a majority of Republican votes….
It is conceivable that Mr. Boehner could pass a debt-limit increase with a slim majority of Republican votes, and Democrats making up the difference, as he has in the past on budget measures. In meetings with Republican lawmakers, the speaker appeared to be offering reassurances to members worried about the government shutdown that he would not allow a default to take place.
Other Republicans also said Thursday that they got the sense that Mr. Boehner would do whatever was necessary to ensure that the country did not default on its debt.
So no U.S. default—but also, contrary to earlier indications, no jobs report tomorrow. (The Labor Department is working today, apparently, as is Challenger, Gray & Christmas, a firm I did not just make up.) Read more »
No one seems to care much about the fact that half of government employees are cooling their heels and that the other half isn’t getting paid. There’s probably even going to be a jobs report on Friday to corroborate what we already know. But the Chicago Merc has discovered at least one area of the market that won’t escape from the political chicanery unscathed. Read more »