Mar 23, 2010

It's Not Inflation That is the Danger - It is Interest Rates

As reported on by Daniel Kruger and Bryan Keogh the government now has to pay a higher interest rate than the top U.S. companies. Obama Pays More Than Buffett as U.S. Risks AAA Rating.

Last year the money center banks could borrow from the Fed at rates below ½% and use that money to buy Treasuries and keep the 1% for nothing. Since the Fed has raised their discount window rate to 1 % some of the fun is out of the game but what-the-hell, where else can you get paid to take money. That’s why the money center banks have been cleaning up in a bad economy.
From the article:

“The $2.59 trillion of Treasury Department sales since the start of 2009 have created a glut as the budget deficit swelled to a post-World War II-record 10 percent of the economy and raised concerns whether the U.S. deserves its AAA credit rating. The increased borrowing may also undermine the first-quarter rally in Treasuries as the economy improves.”

“Last year’s $2.1 trillion in borrowing by the government exceeded the $1.08 trillion issued by investment-grade companies, the biggest gap ever, Bloomberg data show.

Moody's states that interest payments this year will be 7% of the governments revenues and will increase to 11% in three years.  That is a 63% increase in three years.  And that's assuming interest rates don't go crazy.