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Debt Ceiling News Today: What the "Clean" Deal Means for the U.S. Economy


Debt ceiling news 2014: The House of Representative passed a one-year extension to the United States' debt limit on Tuesday evening.

Sen. Majority Leader Harry M. Reid (D-NV) has already said he would pass the bill, although Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) may demand a 60-vote threshold on the deal. With U.S. President Barack Obama's signature, the nation would no longer face the threat of defaulting on its debt of $17.2 trillion within the next couple of months.

The deal passed by a narrow vote, 221 to 201, with just 28 Republicans supporting a "clean" extension of the country's borrowing power.

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Don't Fear China and Japan Owning More U.S. Debt

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The U.S. Treasury Department said today (Thursday) that total foreign holdings of U.S. debt rose 1.1% in November to $5.72 trillion, putting foreign holdings 0.1% below the all-time high of $5.76 trillion it reached in March 2013.

In particular, China's holdings reached record levels, increasing 0.9% to $1.32 billion, and so did Japan, which boosted its holdings by 1% to $1.19 trillion. The two countries are the largest and second-largest foreign buyers of Treasury debt, respectively.

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Will United States Debt Holders Bail on Treasuries?

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Since the mid-1990s, China and a host of other foreign governments have quietly acquired one-third of all United States public debt. Foreign holders of United States debt held more than $5.6 trillion in Treasury securities as of August 2013.

But continued debt-ceiling drama in the United States is starting to change that.

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Four Things the Debt Ceiling Deal Doesn't Fix

Time Bomb

Everyone in the Capitol is patting themselves on the back and glad-handing for the news media, rattling on about “fighting the good fight.” Sure, we’ve avoided default… for just 112 more days. Most of us won’t even pay four phone bills by the time the “crisis” gets brewing again. As ridiculous as that fact is, it gets worse. You see, the “Great Band-Aid Treaty” doesn’t actually do anything to address the fundamental challenges facing our economy right now.

Here are the four biggest issues that Congress ducked out on...

A Debt Ceiling Deal May Not Stop a Fitch Downgrade

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So we got a deal to raise the debt ceiling, at least until February. But when Fitch warned it might downgrade the U.S. credit rating, it wasn't just talking about the likelihood of the U.S. defaulting on its debt. A Fitch downgrade is not only still possible - it's probable.

Here's why it could happen and what it would mean...

The Most Important Numbers to Know Today 


By themselves, they don't seem to mean much: 630,000, 700%, $3.65 million, 19. But once you see them in context, you'll realize why these numbers matter. Besides, where else can you read about frontier markets, Bitcoins, and a phantom Twitter stock

all in one place?

What a Debt Ceiling Stalemate Will Do to the Market


Yesterday (Monday), Money Morning Chief Investment Strategist Keith Fitz-Gerald appeared on FOX Business' "Varney & Co."to make projections about what a stalemate on the debt ceiling will do to the market.

We are a little more than 24 hours away from the day that Treasury Secretary Jack Lew has said we'll exhaust the "extraordinary measures" and go over our debt limit. But even with the impending deadline, over the last five days the market has shakily climbed, with the Dow up 2.35%, Nasdaq up 1.16%, and the S&P 500 up slightly to 1.9%.

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Here's What Happens When We Hit the Debt Ceiling

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We're just a few days away from the debt ceiling deadline and still the buffoons in Washington are more concerned with extracting a political victory than with solving anything. When the best idea is to delay the problem for six short weeks, hitting the debt ceiling is a real possibility.

Brace yourself, because this is what a default would look like...

How to Prepare for the Debt Ceiling Deadline: Oct. 17

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While the markets have mostly brushed off the government shutdown, a failure by Congress to raise the debt ceiling within the next week could trigger the kind of meltdown not seen since the 2008 financial crisis. But instead of just hoping Washington averts disaster in the nick of time,

you can take steps to protect yourself...

Why the Government Shutdown Is Good for Investors

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As of midnight Monday, the government shutdown is upon us. But this is only the first of several budget-battle flashpoints coming over the next few months that will thrash the markets. And despite the angst it will bring, every Washington screwup has a silver lining for investors who know how to play it...


U.S. Debt Ceiling Debate: What Will Happen

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While the battle over the need to raise the nation's debt ceiling will take place in the halls of Congress, your investments are in the direct line of fire. Here's how this fight will unfold, and what you can do to keep your money out of harm's way...

Stock Market Crash 2013: Four Factors Investors Need to Watch

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It's bad enough when one storm cloud appears on the horizon to threaten the stock market - much less four all at once. But forewarned is forearmed. Here's what investors need to prepare for...

Debt Ceiling Bill Nothing More Than a Band-Aid

We have a short-term debt ceiling fix - with emphasis on short term.

U.S. President Barack Obama Monday night signed into law a bill suspending the debt ceiling, a move that allows the government to avoid default-at least until August when Congress will again have to act to prevent such a scenario.

The new law lifts the current debt limit through May 18, allowing the federal government to continuing borrowing to pay its bills until then.

But Congress does have more leeway than the May 18 deadline. The Treasury can use "extraordinary measures" to access funds, which will give it until August before the risk of default comes up again.

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The Debt Ceiling 2013: How We Got Here, What Could Happen

A new twist to investing and financial planning is averting travesties that the government itself created; first it was the fiscal cliff, now it's the debt ceiling 2013.

The debt ceiling is a part of the way government has to go about doing its business.

However, both sides of Washington have come to use the full faith and credit of the United States of America as a bargaining chip - and the consequences are huge.

But it wasn't always like this.

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Are Steep U.S. Spending Cuts Inevitable?

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U.S. Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI), the chairman of the House Budget Committee, is adamant Republicans will resist any further tax increases - a staunch GOP stance that makes steep spending cuts almost certain.

Ryan, the 2012 vice president nominee, told NBC's "Meet the Press" Sunday that the $1.2 trillion worth of automatic spending cuts will take effect because "Democrats have opposed our efforts to replace those cuts with others."

In the NBC interview, Ryan took aim at President Barack Obama.

"I don't think that the president actually thinks we have a fiscal crisis," Ryan said. "He's been reportedly saying to our leaders that we don't have a spending problem, we have a healthcare problem. That leads me to conclude that he just thinks we ought to have more government-run healthcare and rationing."

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