It’s starting. Headlines are swirling that the US Treasury could run out of cash sooner than originally forecast.
The Wall Street Journal featured a report today.
Liquidity moves markets!
Debt Limit Deadline Accelerates, Research Group Finds, Raising Pressure on Congress
Its sister publication, Marketwatch said yesterday, “The U.S. government could exhaust its ability to pay its bills in the first half of September…according to the Bipartisan Policy Center, a research group that released the estimate on Monday. In May, the same group had predicted the government would hit the limit in October or early November.”
I have been warning that the US Treasury could run out of cash in my twice monthly updates of real time Federal tax revenue data.
In those reports I collect, analyze, and chart both Federal revenues, spending levels, and the US Treasury cash account. In the report posted for subscribers last week I warned:
The Treasury is depleting its cash at a rapid rate. If the current trend persists, it will run out of cash by mid August. That’s sooner than the official predictions of late September. The Treasury may have other accounting tricks it could use or other internal funds it can raid before the jig is up, but investors are likely to get burned if they’re betting on the lifting of the debt ceiling to be bullish. And it could come sooner than the consensus expects.
Without a real basis for a timeline, we need to pay attention to the news for any reports that a deal to raise the debt ceiling is near.
I also gave an expanded peek at this work in Lee’s Free Thinking.
Now, you may be wondering why this is important. Here’s why.
Once that happens, the Treasury will bury the markets under a mountain of supply. Both bond and stock prices should fall.
I’ve been telling subscribers that this is one of those rare instances we should pay attention to news media reports. That’s because an exact forecast of the timeline for when the US Treasury runs out of cash is tricky. An increase in news stories will be a sign tha the pressure is rising.
Meanwhile, I’ll update the US Treasury’s cash balance trend and revenue and spending trends in Liquidity Trader. The next report will come later this week, based on the Monthly Treasury Statement data due out Thursday. That report will include an update of the Treasury’s cash balance and real time withholding tax collections through this week.
There is simply no better barometer of the true state of the US economy. And that’s critical to know because it let’s us know whether the current economic narrative and stock market expectations are factually based, or mere wishful thinking.