US has some leeway even if no debt ceiling deal is reached by Thursday

So what happens if we blow through the debt limit? Will the sky come crashing down on our heads on October 18? Not hardly. But it wouldn't be good either. Financial Times: Is October 17 really the deadline? No, or at least not exactly. Jack Lew, the US Treasury secretary, has been careful not to say the US will run out of cash but rather that it will have "run out of borrowing authority". By the end of Thursday the US will be like a shopper who has hit his overdraft limit: he cannot borrow more but still has cash in his wallet. When that cash runs out depends on when bills fall due. Steve Bell, senior director at the Bipartisan Policy Centre in Washington, estimates the "X-date" will fall between October 23, when a $12bn Social Security payment is due, and November 1, when a slew of bills will use up remaining cash. It is not that simple, however, because each Thursday - October 17, 24 and 31 - the US has to roll over debt. As long as investors are willing, rollovers do not...(Read Full Post)