No, I am not talking about ‘Hurricane Harvey’ which will likely be the first hurricane to strike the Texas coast since 2008, but rather the potential for another ‘debt ceiling’ debacle brewing in Washington.
Just recently, Goldman Sachs raised its odds for a government shutdown from 33% to 50% which was further supported by recent statements from President Trump that he would be willing to risk a Government ‘shutdown’ to get his border wall funded. However, as Axios.com noted yesterday:
‘A top Republican source put the chance as high as 75%: ‘The peculiar part is that almost everyone I talk to on the Hill agrees that it is more likely than not.’
This may all come down to Trump’s mood. As Swan puts it: ‘Trump is spoiling for a fight and the [conservative House] Freedom Caucus haven’t had a fight for a while. That’s a dangerous dynamic.’’
While a Government shutdown is often used as a mechanism to force legislative action by threatening default on the national debt. Let me just assure, the Government WILL NOT default on its mandatory spending requirements which includes the social welfare system and interest payments on the debt. Given those items comprise 75% of the budget, the remaining 25% of discretionary categories could see cuts such as the temporary furloughs of some 900,000 government workers considered to be ‘non-essential.’
This post was published at Zero Hedge on Aug 25, 2017.