U.S. Treasury Quietly Warns: ‘Expect Debt Limit to Be Reached Near End of 2012’

20121107-091948.jpg
U.S. Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)

By Terence P. Jeffrey, Cnsnews

(CNSNews.com) – The U.S. Treasury quietly warned at the end of a statement issued last Wednesday that it expects the federal government to hit its legal debt limit before the end of this year–which means before the new Congress is seated–and that “extraordinary measures” will be needed before then to keep the government fully funded into the early part of 2013.

On Aug. 2, 2011, President Obama signed a deal he had negotiated with congressional leaders to increase the debt limit of the federal government by $2.4 trillion. But, now, after only 15 months, almost all of that additional borrowing authority has been exhausted.

Although Treasury revealed in its statement on Wednesday that it was likely to hit the debt limit by the end of the year, Treasury Secretary Geithner failed to respond to a letter that Senate Finance Ranking Member Orrin Hatch and Senate Budget Ranking Member Jeff Sessions sent to him on Oct. 15 demanding that he notify them by Nov. 1 what he believes to be the exact date Treasury will hit the debt limit and the date he expects to begin using “extraordinary measures” to avoid it.

Continue reading

The West Blinks – Iran Embargo Likely To Be Delayed By Six Months

By Tyler Durden on 01/12/2012 14:12 -0500

Source: Zero Hedge

UPDATE: Oil Sub $100.

And so the escalation ends, if only for the time being, as Iran chalks a (Pyrrhic?) victory.

  • EU IRAN OIL EMBARGO SAID TO BE LIKELY DELAYED BY SIX MONTHS

Why? Because the world slowly realized that the potential surge in oil prices would tip a world already on the verge of a recession even deeper into economic contraction. Not rocket science, but certainly something the US president apparently has been unable to comprehend, especially if hoping that he would merely transfer exports from Iran to his close ally Saudi Arabia which would cement its European market monopoly even further. Or, perhaps, someone just explained to Obama that Embargo in January + QE3 in March = No Reelection…

In other news, crude is now dumping.

Reuters on the topic earlier:

U.S. allies in Asia and Europe voiced support on Thursday for Washington’s drive to cut Iran’s oil exports, though fear of self-inflicted economic pain is curbing enthusiasm for an embargo that a defiant Iran says will not halt its nuclear programme.

On Thursday, Japan, whose economy is already deep in the doldrums after cuts in its nuclear power supply following last year’s tsunami, pledged to take concrete action to cut its oil imports from Iran in response to an appeal for support from visiting U.S. Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner.

However, Tokyo’s support was not without reservations.

Finance Minister Jun Azumi said Japan buys 10 percent of its oil from Iran. “We would like to take action concretely to further reduce in a planned manner,” he said. But he added: “It would cause immense damage if they were cut to zero.”

The European Union is more sympathetic to U.S. pressure on Iran. EU foreign ministers are expected to agree on a ban on imports of Iranian crude oil on Jan. 23.

However, even Europe, whose governments largely share the concern of Israel and Washington over Iran’s nuclear ambitions, is looking for ways to limit the pain of an embargo.

“We expect a slow and gradual implementation of what will eventually become a full embargo,” said Mike Wittner from Societe Generale. “Europe has the same concerns about its fragile economy and an oil price spike as the U.S., probably even more”.

Firms in Iran’s three biggest EU oil customers, Italy, Spain and Greece, all suffering acute economic discomfort, have lately extended existing purchase deals in the hope to at least delay the impact of any embargo for months, traders told Reuters.

The European Union is more sympathetic to U.S. pressure on Iran. EU foreign ministers are expected to agree on a ban on imports of Iranian crude oil on Jan. 23.

However, even Europe, whose governments largely share the concern of Israel and Washington over Iran’s nuclear ambitions, is looking for ways to limit the pain of an embargo.

“We expect a slow and gradual implementation of what will eventually become a full embargo,” said Mike Wittner from Societe Generale. “Europe has the same concerns about its fragile economy and an oil price spike as the U.S., probably even more”.

Firms in Iran’s three biggest EU oil customers, Italy, Spain and Greece, all suffering acute economic discomfort, have lately extended existing purchase deals in the hope to at least delay the impact of any embargo for months, traders told Reuters.