Debt ceiling: A crisis unfolding yet again on Capitol Hill

Over four different days in November, the U.S. government has to cut checks to Social Security recipients totaling close to $70 billion.


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Then there is the salary for federal workers and the military: $12 billion must be paid over five different days.

And don’t forget the interest to all those bond holders with U.S. Treasuries: $30 billion due on November 16.

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All those payments underpin the immediate crisis unfolding (yet again) on Capitol Hill over whether to raise the debt ceiling.

Don’t raise it or at least suspend it soon and Treasury Secretary Jack Lew estimates that after November 5 he will only be able to pay the country’s bills with the surplus cash he has on hand plus the daily tax revenue coming in. But at some point it won’t be enough to pay everyone.

Lew said he expects the cash stash to deplete “quickly.”

The Bipartisan Policy Center now projects quickly could mean between Nov. 10 and Nov. 19.

In all, the Center found the Treasury will have to make large daily payouts totaling $48.8 billion on October 30, $33.1 billion on both November 3 and November 16, and more than $15 billion on October 21 and between November 9 and November 10.

On other days between now and the end of November, Treasury will be making payments totaling anywhere from $1.4 billion to $14 billion.

When its cash runs short, millions of people and businesses expecting timely, in-full payments from the federal government may find their checks delayed.

That’s because Treasury will be forced to either postpone all payments due on a given day until it can pay each in full, or to choose which pick and choose who to stiff.

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About Kelvin Ching

I'm a professional Forex trader and I have been trading for over 7 years. I was a series 3 broker and a registered CTA with the NFA, the main regulatory agency in the United States, and I have been involved at the highest levels in commodity trading. I also have a background in Information Technology, graphics design, and programming... I'm the co-founder of, a site dedicated to fundamental analysis and news trading.

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