Evan Frazier, CFA, CAIA
Senior Research Analyst
In February of this year, Marquette published a Perspectives piece entitled Is the Sky Falling? that detailed the history of the United States debt ceiling, as well as the early innings of negotiations surrounding its possible increase or suspension given the fact that the $31.4 trillion limit was reached on January 19. In the months since, the Treasury Department has been forced to resort to “extraordinary measures” in order to prevent the U.S. from defaulting on its obligations, including suspending sales of state and local government series Treasury securities. Those measures, however, will likely be exhausted in the very near future according to the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office (perhaps as early as June), at which point the federal government will ultimately be unable to pay its obligations fully and, as a result, have to delay making payments for some activities and/or default on its debt obligations. This is commonly referred to as the x-date. It is worth pointing out that a number of large Wall Street firms have brought their forecasts of this date forward in recent days.
This newsletter analyzes potential repercussions of a U.S. default and options for a resolution of the debt limit impasse in Congress.
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