US bonds sale faces market resistance
The US Treasury is facing an ordeal by fire this week as it tries to sell $100bn (£62bn) of bonds to a deeply sceptical market amid growing fears of a sovereign bond crisis in the Anglo-Saxon world.
Never mind the “Anglo-Saxon world”; the problem the US has in trying to sell these new issues is that the US is spending more money than at any point in its history, and the buyers aren’t willing to chance it.
The Obama administration needs to raise $2 trillion this year to cover the fiscal stimulus plan and the bank bail-outs. It has to fund $900bn by September.
“The dynamic is just getting overwhelming,” said RBC Capital Markets.
The US Treasury is selling $40bn of two-year notes on Tuesday, $35bn of five-year bonds on Wednesday, and $25bn of seven-year debt on Thursday. While the US has not yet suffered the indignity of a failed auction – unlike Britain and Germany – traders are watching closely to see what share is being purchased by US government itself in pure “monetisation” of the deficit.
“There just isn’t enough money out there:”
“There isn’t enough capital in the world to buy the new sovereign issuance required to finance the giant fiscal deficits that countries are so intent on running. There is simply not enough money out there,” he said. “If the US loses control of long rates, they will not be able to arrest asset price declines. If they print too much money, they will debase the dollar and cause stagflation.
“The bottom line is that there is no global ‘get out of jail free’ card for anyone”, he said.
The US is acutely vulnerable because it relies heavily on foreign goodwill. China and Japan alone hold 23pc of America’s $6,369bn federal debt. Suspicions that Washington is trying to engineer a stealth default by letting the dollar slide could cause patience to snap, even if Asian exporters would themselves suffer if they harmed their chief market.
The dollar has fallen 11pc against a basket of currencies since early March. Mutterings of a “dollar crisis” may now constrain the Fed as it tries to shore up the bond market. It has so far bought $116bn of Treasuries as part of its “credit easing” blitz, out of a $300bn pool.
When the Fed first said it was going to buy Treasuries in March the 10-year yield to dropped instantly from 3pc to near 2.5pc, but shock effect has since worn off. Any effort to step up purchases might backfire in the current jittery mood.
Via Instapundit, who comments,
“I’ve bankrupted the nation, so now your only hope is to pass my healthcare plan.” That goes beyond chutzpah to the edge of pathological dishonesty. Except, I guess, that it’s not pathological if you get away with it. And so far, he has.
Prior post here.