Wednesday, February 03, 2010

More financial worries....

Remember how the Democratic Congress was going to increase the US Debt Ceiling by $1.9 trillion ($1,900,000,000,000) so that they wouldn't have to raise it again later this year, right before the mid-term elections? Well, it won't work. From the AFP:

The US debt is on track to hit a congressionally proposed debt ceiling of 14.3 trillion dollars by the end of February, the Treasury said Wednesday, a day ahead of a key vote to raise it to that level. [emphasis added]
I know that the government expects more revenue as we approach April 15, but I don't see how they will be able to get by without upping the limit again. Moody's Investor Service has once again issued a warning, according to the Financial Times:
Moody’s Investors Service fired off a warning on Wednesday that the triple A sovereign credit rating of the US would come under pressure unless economic growth was more robust than expected or tougher actions were taken to tackle the country’s budget deficit.

In a move that follows intensifying concern among investors over the US deficit, Moody’s said the country faced a trajectory of debt growth that was “clearly continuously upward”.
In other good news, the mortgage delinquency rate has hit 10% (total non-current rate at 13.3%) and the BLS should revise the number of jobs lost upwards by 824,000 this Friday.

That last bit is old news, though. The government announced this change several months ago. The BLS revises its methodology once a year, and that change is incorporated into the January report (released in early February) each year. It's old news, but most people probably haven't heard this before.

ADDED: CNN/Money has a better story about the adjustment to the employment numbers, complete with graphical goodness. Two things about the story jumped out at me. First, this story fails to mention that this revision had been publicized many months ago. (Here's a link to the BLS announcement itself, last updated October 2, 2009 as of this update.) Second, it contains this nugget of bad news.
There is a concern that this problem didn't end in March of 2009. In fact, the adjustment added even more jobs -- 990,000 -- in the nine months reported since then.
In other words, the adjustment should probably be 1,814,000 fewer jobs instead of 820,000 fewer jobs.

This is not good news.

No comments: