Debt | - Part 6

Angst Over Park Closures

Living so close to Yellowstone (“the park” as they call it around here), we’ve been hearing a lot about the impact of the government shutdown on local businesses as well as on those visiting from far away, the latest being this story in the local paper about newlyweds who were planning to take some wedding photos inside the park but, instead, had to settle for the Roosevelt Arch at the North entrance.

Roosevelt Arch wedding

The park superintendent’s daughter is supposed to be married inside the park on Sunday and, based on this report about the Federal government allowing state governments to pay for keeping the parks open, she’s probably hopeful about this weekend.

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The Stock Trading Computers are Happy

In this interview with Reuters from a short time ago (when they were talking about a six week delay), Steve Bell, senior director for economic policy at the Bipartisan Policy Center tosses a little cold water on the stock market euphoria about a deal to temporarily raise the debt ceiling, noting that this is anything but a done deal in the Republican House.

According to this related report, there has been no progress in ending the government shutdown and, as such, I’d have to agree with Bell that what you see in the stock market today is just one computer’s high-frequency trading algorithm bidding against another.

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Fiscal Chicken Little

It looks as though there might be a deal in the works to raise the debt ceiling enough to cover about six weeks of government spending, in which case, the nation will get to do this all over again between now and the end of November … Yippee!

Who knows where the approval ratings will be for the House, the Senate, and the White House by that time as the nation’s “apocalypse fatigue” increases from current levels, if that’s even possible. Look for consumer confidence to erode further.

A few news items on the shutdown/debt ceiling debate shed some light on the goings on in Washington and are recommended reading for anyone wanting to be brought up to date on the subject or who are curious about the title above that was derived from these two reports:

These two stories go a long way in explaining why President Obama is likely to end up doing exactly what he has said he’d refuse to do – negotiate before raising the debt ceiling (that is, if he wants the debt ceiling to be raised for more than six weeks at a time).

Those who are firmly on one side of the issue might want to pick the appropriate commentary below in order to reinforce those views (that’s what most Americans do, right?), just in case things get a little dicey here in the days ahead as lawmakers try to make a deal to make some other deal at a later date.

I don’t know about you, but I seem to suffering from apocalypse fatigue.

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Jack Lew Takes on the Debt Ceiling Deniers

Treasury Secretary Jack Lew is testifying before the Senate Finance Committee on the debt limit and those who argue not raising it can be dealt with by prioritizing payments. A link to the CSPAN coverage can be found here, though other news outlets are covering it as well.

Understandably, he seems pretty irritated about all of this…

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