What is wrong with this picture: the MTS just announced that the February budget deficit was $220.9 billion, after receipts of just $107.5 billion with vastly surpassed by outlays of $328.4 billion. This is a record. Yet the interest on the public debt was a mere $16.9 billion (page 13 of the MTS report). The reason for this is because as TreasuryDirect points out, in February the interest on public marketable debt (actual cash outlays), which as of Monday stood at $8.061 trillion, hit an all time low of 2.548%. How is it possible that unprecedented debt accumulation can result in ever declining interest rates, and Treasury auctions, such as today's 10 Year reopening, in which the Bid To Cover hit an all time high? One answer: The Federal Reserve, which through complete domination of the entire capital market courtesy of ZIRP and QE has now turned market logic upside down by 180 degrees. In a normal world, the more money you borrow, the greater the associated risk, and the greater the interest payments on this debt. Not in America though. So can we assume that the Fed can forever keep rates on debt at record low levels? No. Which begs the question: what happens when interest rates do finally start going up?
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