Sean Hayes: ‘i Always Felt I Owed The Gay Community An Apology For Coming Out Too Late’

“We’re better than our record indicates and we need to take the next step. Thomas is an elite player in this league and he’ll help us now and in the future.” Vanek, 29, UFA this summer, has scored 254 goals in eight-plus seasons in Buffalo. Moulson, who turns 30 on Friday, has been John Tavares’ good luck charm for four season on Long Island. Moulson scored 118 goals as an Islander since Snow signed Moulson to an AHL contract in 2009. Tavares was drafted in 2009. It remains to be seen if trading Moulson may have a negative impact on Tavares. Moulson will be UFA July 1, 2014. I like Buffalo’s chances of re-signing him considering they have $32+ million in cap space for 2014-15 with 14 players under contract. “Matt has been a great player for us the past few years,” Snow said. “Obviously he’s a good person. But I can tell you I’m not happy with where we are record wise. We’re better than this. We need to take the next step and I wasn’t just going to sit by and let games pass.” Great deal for both teams. I give Regier the TKO in the bout. He gets a 1st and 2nd rounder for a rental player who may not like the hustle and gridlock on the Long island Expressway, nor the hipster lifestyle in Brooklyn, NY. ________________________________________________________________________ The birth of a Buffalo legend. Stick tap, Thomas Vanek. Thanks for the decade of thrills, chills, and skills! BN archive pic: Thomas Vanek with Larry Quinn, Darcy Regier and Lindy Ruff on Sept. 7, 2004, announcing his signing. pic.twitter.com/zMC03F8HyL The Buffalo News (@TheBuffaloNews) October 28, 2013 Vanek won’t have to have any contact with Lindy ruff at the rink on Monday morning. Betcha he’s bummed out that. ____________________________________________________________________ Updated 9:58pm EDT: I asked Vanek’s Rochester-based agent, Steve Bartlett if he feels that the Islanders will want to start talking about a long term contract extension for Vanek now. “I’m sure they will have the proper time. Right now he just wants to concentrate on playing this season” .

Times that early controversy over his Will and Grace character Jack McFarland being “too gay” made him go back into the closet with the media : I was so young. It made me go back in the closet [with the media] because I was so overwhelmed at 26 or 27. I didn’t want the responsibility, I didn’t know how to handle the responsibility of speaking for the gay community. I always felt like I owed them a huge apology for coming out too late. Some people in the gay community were very upset with me for not coming out on their terms. They don’t stop to think about what’s going on in somebody’s personal life, and the struggles that they’re having. It was all very scary. We got death threats. It was a really rough time for me, but I was also having the time http://finance.yahoo.com/news/borrow-money-investments-185500623.html of my life.

Governor To Testify In Detroit Bankruptcy Trial – Abc News

23, 2013. The city of Detroit for months has disclosed the awful condition of its finances. Now its up to a judge to determine if the largest public bankruptcy in U.S. history really can go forward. An unusual trial starts Wednesday, pitting Detroits emergency manager and his legal team against unions and pension funds that claim the city isnt qualified to scrub its books clean under Chapter 9 bankruptcy. Photo: Paul Sancya, AP Protesters rally outside The Theodore Levin United States… Font Page 1 of 1 DETROIT (AP) Michigan’s governor is scheduled to testify in a trial to determine whether Detroit is eligible to fix its troubled finances in bankruptcy court. Republican Gov. Rick Snyder is scheduled to take the stand Monday afternoon. Snyder hired emergency manager Kevyn Orr , who filed for bankruptcy in July. Orr is expected to resume testimony he started on Friday. The trial began Wednesday and could end this week, but a decision on Detroit’s eligibility appears to be weeks away. The judge has set a Nov. 13 deadline for lawyers to file legal briefs on certain issues. A key question is whether the city held “good-faith” talks with creditors before the filing. Unions and pension funds say no.

Snyder hired emergency manager Kevyn Orr, who filed for bankruptcy in July. Orr is expected to resume testimony he started on Friday. The trial began Wednesday and could end this week, but a decision on Detroit’s eligibility appears to be weeks away. The judge has set a Nov. 13 deadline for lawyers to file legal briefs on certain issues. A key question is whether the city held “good-faith” talks with creditors before the filing. Unions and pension funds say no.

Update 1-spain’s Service Point Applies For Creditor Protection | Reuters

Service Point, which operates in several countries including Britain, the United States and the Netherlands, is the latest company in Spain to find itself on the edge of insolvency since banks tightened credit in the wake of a housing bust five years ago. “The company will continue working to reach an agreement that will allow the restructuring of its balance sheet to protect shareholders, creditors and employees,” Service Point said in a statement. Spain’s stock market regulator, the CNMV, earlier suspended trading in the group’s shares, which had fallen 7.4 percent on Thursday to 0.37 euros, valuing the company at around 65 million euros ($90 million), according to Thomson Reuters data. The company reported a net loss of 834 million euros for the first half of 2013. Service Point took several steps to support the business, including changing the management team in Britain, which brings in a quarter of sales and exiting France, and said the second half of the year would look brighter. Last week Spanish white goods company Fagor filed for protection from creditors, while also trying to refinance debt. The number of insolvencies to end-September in Spain rose 27 percent to 6,582 compared with 2012, according to ratings agency Axesor.

The Illogic Of The Mcconnell Debt Limit Rule

Citi forecasts Greek devastation, unstoppable debt spirals in Italy and Portugal

Its shares have dropped 1.8 percent in Hong Kong this year, compared with a 2.9 percent gain for the citys benchmark Hang Seng Index. (HSI) The practice of writing off loans has been uncommon in China, where banks need to get approval from the Finance Ministry to remove debt from their books. In most cases, a court also has to declare the borrower bankrupt before the lender can seek that permission. That rule was revised in 2010, when the ministry gave banks authority to write off small-business loans of less than 5 million yuan after one year of collection efforts, without getting approval. Rising Bankruptcies Chinas courts have also been processing bankruptcies faster. The eastern province of Zhejiang, a region south of Shanghai thats home to many of the countrys largest private companies, accepted 143 bankruptcy petitions last year, according to the most recent figures reported by its high court in May. Thats almost twice the number from a year earlier. The rising bankruptcies may have helped Bank of Communications , the nations fifth-largest lender, become the most aggressive among the top five in expunging bad loans from its books so far: its write-offs surged sevenfold to 4.82 billion yuan in the first six months. A press officer for the Shanghai-based lender, known as BoCom, declined to comment. Asset Sales The bank also disposed of 5.1 billion yuan in soured loans through sales to asset-management companies, according to analysts at Sanford C. Bernstein. Without the sales, bad debt would have risen 36 percent in the first half, instead of a reported 17 percent gain, while its bad-loan ratio would have expanded to 1.15 percent rather than the reported 0.99 percent. The faster pace of write-offs and the sales helped mask the growth of defaults at lenders such as BoCom, said Grace Wu, an analyst at Daiwa Capital Markets Hong Kong Ltd. About a third of BoComs loans were made in the Yangtze River Delta region, which includes the troubled Zhejiang province, she said. BoComs been seeing more NPL formation compared to the other, larger banks, Wu said. In order to try and manage the NPL balance, they have chosen to take on more aggressive write-offs as well as disposals. The volume of soured debt at Chinese banks will probably continue to increase in 2014, though the bad-loan ratio may remain quite stable as credit growth surpasses the pace of rise in defaults, said Daiwas Wu. Almost half of the loans made to local governments wont come due until 2015, at the earliest, making them medium-term risks, she said. Quarterly Earnings Investors will get their next picture of the biggest banks financial health at the end of this month, when lenders publish third-quarter earnings. Construction Bank will report on Oct. 27, with the other four scheduled to follow on Oct. 30. Debt write-offs in the past have been posted only in first-half and full-year reports. Third-quarter net income at the five banks may have risen 11 percent from a year earlier to a combined 226 billion yuan, according to Edmond Law, an analyst at UOB Kay Hian (Hong Kong) Research. Nonperforming loans probably climbed by a mild 5 percent in the three months to Sept. 30 as lenders continued to write off or sell bad debt, he wrote in an Oct. 10 report. Uncertainty about the quality of assets at Chinese banks has made global investors nervous, sending stock in the lenders to near record-low valuations this year. ICBC fell 2.2 percent to close at HK$5.28 in Hong Kong and the shares are trading at 0.98 times estimated book value for 2014, while Construction Bank lost 2.3 percent and changed hands at 0.94 times book, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. Under Pressure The China bank stocks are under pressure due to bad debt write-offs, Sandy Mehta, chief executive officer of Value Investment Principals Ltd. in Hong Kong, wrote in an e-mail. The new leadership in China is serious about the financial sector getting its house in order, and addressing any asset quality issues. Jim Chanos, the founder of Kynikos Associates Ltd. who predicted the collapse of Enron Corp.

Stop us before we borrow again — just say ‘no’ to underwriting more debt

The fiasco in Washington over the partial government shutdown, raising the debt ceiling and deepening animosity between Republicans and Democrats (and Republicans and Republicans), has left many asking if there is any way out of this bitter, endless cycle. There may be. The Financial Times recently suggested that America’s largest foreign creditor — China — might want to reduce the size of its loans financing our debt. China, which holds 8 percent, or $1.5 trillion, in U.S. Treasury securities, is mocking our inability to reduce debt. The Washington Times reports that Chinese Commerce Minister Mei Xinyu called the shutdown and the congressional politicking over the debt limit “monkey business” that degrades the U.S. image worldwide. When people were told the gravy train wasn’t stopping at their station anymore, they adapted to new realities. Why can’t it be the same for a nation? FRANCE 24 reports that a Chinese ratings agency recently downgraded its U.S. sovereign credit rating, and warned that “fundamentals for a potential default remained unchanged.” If a college student misspends money his parents give him, the parents would be foolish to send more money. They would be enabling bad choices. Isn’t it the same with America’s debt? Eight foreign nations besides China collectively lend hundreds of billions of dollars to the United States, enabling politicians to continue their irresponsible spending. Suppose the next time President Obama and Congress come knocking these nations say, “No more.” Since a majority in Congress won’t stop themselves, foreign governments might assume the “parental” role. It’s like welfare reform, isn’t it? In the 1990s, when President Clinton signed welfare reform legislation, opponents claimed people would starve in the streets. They didn’t. Many found jobs. When people were told the gravy train wasn’t stopping at their station anymore, they adapted to new realities. Why can’t it be the same for a nation? Stop us before we borrow again! When Senator Obama ran for president in 2008, he decried the $4 trillion debt under President Bush, calling it “unpatriotic.” President Obama has added at least $6 trillion (and counting) to the debt, so what does that make him? Indiana Republican Governor Mike Pence, who spent 12 years as a U.S. congressman, believes Washington is incapable of reforming itself and that solutions can be found on the state level. “The Republican agenda,” he explained to me by phone, “must not be just reducing government spending, but a permanent reduction in the size of the federal government and a restoration to the states of their constitutional responsibilities and privileges.” Pence says the “American people are figuring this out” as they see states — especially those led by Republican governors — cut taxes, reduce spending and eliminate unnecessary agencies and programs. He calls for a “national leadership that understands the importance of energetic federalism and states that innovate.” Rather than sending people to Washington in the vain hope the capital can be run like a state, Pence says Washington should look to states “where there is innovation in health care, education, balanced budgets and taxes” and follow their lead. Pence recalls Ronald Reagan’s First Inaugural Address in which he said, “All of us need to be reminded that the federal government did not create the states; the states created the federal government.” On a visit to Indianapolis on Feb. 9, 1982, Reagan defined the problem: “In recent years, power and tax dollars flowed to Washington like water down the Wabash. And yet things didn’t get better. We didn’t move closer to solutions; we moved farther away. Hoosiers, like citizens all over this country, began to realize that the steady stream of money and authority to Washington had something to do with the fact that things didn’t seem to work anymore. … The federal government has taken too much tax money from the people, too much authority from the states, and too much liberty with the Constitution.” This is a philosophy to which Republicans might return. They could couple it with an appeal to our lenders to “just say ‘no'” the next time Washington asks them for more money. Cal Thomas is America’s most widely syndicated newspaper columnist and a Fox News contributor. Follow him on Twitter@CalThomas . Readers may e-mail Cal Thomas at tmseditors@tribune.com .

Ending the Next Debt Ceiling Crisis

Securities and Exchange Commission to change a rule allowing money managers to put high concentrations of troubled Puerto Rico debt in state-specific municipal bond funds. A major issuer on the United States municipal bond market, Puerto Rico has $70 billion in outstanding debt that has been very popular with investors and fund managers because it is exempt from federal, state and local taxes. But with concerns mounting about the island territory’s economic health, investors are starting to fret about its ability to pay its debts. The S&P Municipal Bond Puerto Rico Index is down 17 percent in 2013. “As I look deeper into whether investors were misled on the risks of these bond funds, there might be an opportunity to raise it with federal regulators,” Massachusetts Secretary of the Commonwealth William Galvin told Reuters in a telephone interview. His office opened an investigation two weeks ago into whether investors in Massachusetts were adequately informed about the potential risks associated with Puerto Rico debt in municipal bond mutual funds. He initially targeted Fidelity Investments, OppenheimerFunds – a unit of MassMutual Life Insurance Co – and UBS Financial Services with letters of inquiry. “We haven’t sent out any more requests for information yet, but we could,” Galvin said. “By now everyone acknowledges that there is an issue with Puerto Rico.” Puerto Rico debt represents nearly 2 percent of the $3.7 trillion U.S. municipal bond market. About 180 funds representing more than $100 billion in net assets have weightings of 5 percent or more in Puerto Rico bonds, Morningstar analyst Eric Jacobson said in a recent research report. Investors pulled more than $6.5 billion from municipal bond funds in September, with at least $500 million coming out of the 20 funds with the greatest exposure to Puerto Rico. But analysts say investors are not often aware of Puerto Rico’s weighting in a state-specific municipal bond funds such as the John Hancock Massachusetts Tax-Free Income Fund. That fund and many other state-named funds have had more than 10 percent of their assets in Puerto Rican debt. The Securities and Exchange Commission’s fund naming rules allow single-state municipal bond funds to own not only their state-issued debt, but also any tax-exempt bonds. Because Puerto Rican debt is tax exempt in every state, it has become a popular option for fund managers seeking to diversify and generate income from yields that are typically higher than debt of the states for which the funds are named. Municipal Market Advisors, a top municipal bond research firm, said pressure brought by Galvin and other regulators may lead states to tighten investment rules for their single state funds. While Galvin’s investigation is still in its early stages, he said he could move quickly to appeal for big changes. Galvin noted that there are plenty of loopholes that fund managers could exploit in stocking their municipal bond funds with riskier securities, like Puerto Rico’s. But states are often prevented from acting independently on setting rules on exactly what goes into the funds because they are regulated by the Securities and Exchange Commission. Galvin has a reputation in Massachusetts and on Wall Street as a tough regulator who has taken on mutual funds over market timing and won big settlements against Wall Street banks over improperly disclosed research. He has often led federal regulators in past probes. (Reporting by Svea Herbst-Bayliss; Editing by Richard Valdmanis and Dan Grebler)

Settle debt for less, hurt credit more?

The London-based bank is helping Saudi borrowers in the power and utility, food and financial sectors, Fahad Al Saif, head of capital markets and corporate finance for HSBC in the country, said by telephone. The bank also expects a lot of activity in Saudi initial public offerings in 2014, he said. Saudi Arabia, which approved a $219 billion budget this year, is tendering contracts to build roads, railways and ports as it seeks to improve its infrastructure and boost employment after protests toppled leaders across the Middle East . King Abdullah unveiled a $130 billion stimulus plan in 2011. HSBC has several debt capital market mandates in the pipeline for the rest of the year and first quarter of 2014, Al Saif said in the interview, without giving names. Sectors such as transport need financing. Port companies, railways and airlines are looking to do this either through banks or sukuk. Al Saif said that he expects an additional 10 billion Saudi riyals ($2.7 billion) of sukuk, or Islamic bonds which comply with the ban on interest, to be issued before the end of the year in Saudi Arabia and a similar amount in the first quarter. Islamic Debt Saudi Arabian companies have raised $12 billion through Islamic debt sales so far this year, up from $8.8 billion a year earlier, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. HSBC helped arrange $4.5 billion, or 37 percent, of sales in the Kingdom, down from 79 percent a year earlier, the data show. HSBC last month helped arrange a 15.2 billion-riyal sukuk for government-owned airport developer General Authority of Civil Aviation. It also helped foodmaker Almarai Co. raise 1.7 billion riyals in the kingdoms first perpetual sukuk. HSBC expects more hybrid issuances from companies that want to mimic the Almarai issue as well as high-yield issuances related to high profile projects such as industrial cities, Al Saif said. Well also see more institutions with limited access to the market pursue ratings. Saudi British Bank, in which HSBC holds 40 percent, plans to sell Islamic bonds by the end of the year, Reuters reported Aug. 26, while Saudi Electricity hired banks for a sale, MEED reported Sept. 24. Saudi Hollandi Bank (AAAL) approved a private offering of riyal-denominated sukuk to support its capital base, according to a Sept. 26 statement to the Saudi stock exchange. HSBC is also working on several initial public offerings and rights issues across many sectors, including aviation and logistics, retail and other industrials, Al Saif said. With a number of companies considering primary or secondary offerings, we are optimistic that there will be a healthy amount of activity next year. Acquisition financing will be a theme of 2014 as merger and acquisition deals increase in Saudi Arabia, Al Saif said. To contact the reporter on this story: Stefania Bianchi in Dubai at sbianchi10@bloomberg.net To contact the editor responsible for this story: Dale Crofts at dcrofts@bloomberg.net King Abdullah financial district in Riyadh Waseem Obaidi/Bloomberg The King Abdullah financial district is seen illuminated at night in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. The King Abdullah financial district is seen illuminated at night in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. Photographer: Waseem Obaidi/Bloomberg More News:

I pass their latest forecasts on to readers. I do not endorse them. Italy will bounce along in near-permanent recession with growth of 0.1pc in 2014, zero in 2015, and 0.2pc in 2016. The debt will punch above 140pc of GDP, beyond the point of no return for a country with no economic growth or sovereign currency. “We do not expect the public debt ratio will enter a downtrend in coming years, and we suspect that some form of debt restructuring (maturity lengthening and/or coupon reductions) may be likely eventually,” said the bank. Portugal is in an even worse state, with growth of: 0.6pc, 0.0pc, 1.0pc, over the next three years, with debt hitting 149pc of GDP by 2015, and unemployment rising again to 18.3pc: Given the fiscal tightening still to come, ongoing private deleveraging and ensuing poor nominal GDP growth prospects, doubts still exist about the sustainability of the Portuguese public debt in our view.” A second full bail-out programme remains a clear risk in the event of market sentiment deteriorating. In any case, we think a Greek-style public debt restructuring unlikely in the near future, but a restructuring of some government contingent liabilities is still possible. Greece continues to be a catastrophe. The alleged stabilisation will prove to be a false dawn. The economy will contract by a further 2.9pc in 2014, and 1.4pc in 2015, pushing unemployment to 32.4pc, and the debt to 201pc of GDP. Spain will not default or need debt restructuring, which looks to me like a change in forecast. However, growth will be just 0.1pc next year, 0.3pc in 2015, and 0.7pc in 2016, not enough to stop unemployment rising yet further to 27.9pc. Ireland will make it. The country is highly competitive and has little in common with the others. If Citigroup is broadly correct, Europe faces a lost decade that is far worse than anything suffered by Japan, which will render the region marginal in coming world affairs, and is likely to have non-linear political consequences. The lesson of the 1930s is that you have to discredit both the moderate Left and Right in turn before voters turn to extreme parties en masse. I cannot see how perma-slump and rising unemployment can continue through to 2017 without patience snapping. But such judgements are entirely political, and therefore intuitive. You have to speak the languages of these countries and know them very well to have any useful insights. Citi’s team is headed by ardent euro-federalist Willem Buiter, and most of his team are from eurozone countries, so this is not an Anglo-Saxon report. Of course, there is always the possibility that they are completely wrong. They had better be wrong.

HSBC Hired on Saudi Debt Deals as Bank Sees More IPOs

Gleckman argues these proposals illogical and instead argues that Congress ought to be mandated to finance all spending decisions that they approve. By Howard Gleckman ,Guest blogger / October 23, 2013 The U.S. flag flies next to the Capitol in Washington during the 2011 debt ceiling crisis. Gleckman argues the ‘McConnell’ rule illogical and instead proposes Congress be mandated to finance all spending decisions they approve. Alex Brandon/AP Photo/File Howard Gleckman is a resident fellow at The Urban-Brookings Tax Policy Center, the author of Caring for Our Parents, and former senior correspondent in the Washington bureau of Business Week. (http://taxvox.taxpolicycenter.org) Recent posts The Christian Science Monitor Weekly Digital Edition After all, the recent congressional agreement only delays the next potential shutdown till January 15 and lifts the debt ceiling only until February 7. RECOMMENDED: What does the federal government do with your money? Take our taxes quiz. While many Republican officials were willing to breach the debt limit, most economists and policymakers agreed that deliberately defaulting on the government debt would be an historic mistake, with long-lasting negative consequences. Even cutting other spending while paying bondholders would have carried significant downside risks. What should be done to avoid another flirtation with default? (Lets leave avoiding a shutdown for another day.) Somecommentators, most recently theNew York Timeshave proposed making the so-called McConnell rule the law of the land. The idea, named after Senate GOP Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY), would allow the President to raise the debt ceiling unilaterally. Congresss role would be limited to voting its disapproval of that increase. (McConnells suggestion to do this this was made originally in the context of a broader discussion that linked spending cuts to debt limit increases, but now his name has been applied to this part of his overall proposal.) This is essentially how debt ceiling issues were resolved earlier this year. But making the McConnell rule law would be a mistake. It would enshrine the irresponsibility of all of those elected officials who have said they would never raise the debt limit to continue avoiding the responsibility for their actions. And it is based on a misunderstanding of why the debt ceiling has to be raised periodically. Congress does not raise the debt ceiling periodically because the President likes the idea. Congress must increase it in response to actions (such as spending authorizations and tax laws) it has already taken. Allowing the president to raise the debt ceiling (because Congressional actions made it necessary) so Congress can then vote its disapproval makes no more sense than having Congress require the President to order a pizza and then vote to object that it has too many calories. Forget about the animosity and mistrust between House Republicans and Obama. Just think about the Congress and the executive branch of government. The Constitution indicates that the government can not spend money, raise revenues or borrow funds without prior congressional approval. But when Congress OKs a budget where revenues are not sufficient to pay for spending (which it has done year after year for decadeswith just a few exceptions) it does not concurrently approve the debt measures needed to fill the gap. So, for example, Congress can legislate $100 in spending and $60 in taxes, but this does not automatically enable government to borrow the $40 difference. It can only do that by raising the debt ceiling. Implementing the McConnell rule would be asymmetric in that it would let the President authorize borrowing independently of Congress, but not revenues or spending. A better solution would be to stipulate that when Congress authorizes spending, it is also authorizing the borrowing needed to finance that spending should tax revenues be insufficient. Like the McConnell rule, this would avoid showdowns over the debt limit. Unlike the McConnell rule, it would be consistent with the constitutional authority given to the Congress and it would require members of Congress to actually take responsibility for their actions and acknowledge that whatever spending they authorize does in fact have to be financed.

The recent crisis shows that Tea Party Republicans continue to view the debt limit as a negotiating lever to extract political concessions each time our bills come due — repeatedly driving the country to the edge of the fiscal cliff, then leaving it up to the grown-ups to steer clear of disaster at the last second. Yet to allow radical factions to retain their abstract right to precipitate debt-limit crises is very damaging. Investors will demand a premium on Treasury bonds to compensate them for the risk that some future stand-off will spin out of control. In the longer run, the underlying uncertainty will undermine the central position of the dollar in the monetary system, depriving the country of the great economic advantages that flow from issuing the world’s reserve currency. In contrast, a decisive effort to put our house in order will establish that Washington is determined to avoid future fiascos. This is the point of a bill I introduced that changes the rules of the debt-limit game. Under the reformed procedures, the president would announce, on an annual basis, the increase required to avoid default. Congress would retain the power to reject the president’s initiative by a simple majority vote of both Houses — and if the president responded with a veto, two-thirds majorities could still insist on ultimate control. In restricting its power to play politics on this issue, however, Congress would be redeeming the Fourteenth Amendment’s command that “[t]he validity of the public debt of the United States… shall not be questioned.” This basic reform idea is already gaining acceptance. The recent Reid-McConnell compromise increased the debt limit through February 7, 2014, but not through the traditional method of hiking the authorized ceiling by a precise amount. Instead, it grants the president authority to issue new debt, subject to a joint resolution by both Houses rejecting his proposed increase. The task is to convert this temporary emergency measure into the new normal. Even in these polarized times, it should be politically possible to hammer out the precise terms for future presidential-Congressional collaboration. While Tea Party Republicans may harbor dreams of another government shut-down, they know that the threat of a debt default comes with an emergency brake. After all, Senator Ted Cruz (R-Texas) had it within his power to deny unanimous consent to the speedy consideration of the Reid-McConnell initiative. Yet he allowed responsible minds to stop him and steer us to safety when confronting the midnight hour that threatened the end of fiscal solvency. A show of bipartisan commonsense will also set the stage for a successful round of budgetary negotiations. Sen. Patty Murray (D-Wash.) and Rep. Paul Ryan (R- Wisc.) have already made it clear that their budget committees won’t be trying to reach a “grand bargain” before the new December 13th conference deadline date. Nevertheless, a modest accord is needed to avoid another calamitous episode just after New Year’s. Even this will require some tough compromises. A decisive breakthrough on the debt-limit will serve to encourage both sides to make the necessary concessions. I am not looking for miracles. The point is to show Americans and the world that step-by-step, Washington is slowly regaining its capacity for responsible action. The challenge is to take that first step, and quickly, before memories of the debt-limit crisis grow dim. Follow Rep. Mike Honda on Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/repmikehonda FOLLOW POLITICS

Massachusetts may seek federal help on Puerto Rico debt probe

If a company offers a settlement of, say, 50 percent of the original balance, will paying the lower amount damage my credit score? — Gabe Dear Gabe, You are on the right road, but watch out for detours on your trip to a better credit score. What may appear to be a shortcut to a better credit score is often a dead end requiring a lot of backtracking just to get back to where you started. This may be one of those turn-right-or-turn-left moments. Let’s look at it more closely before you decide. Depending on how the account in question is currently being reported on your credit report, there are some conditions that might make it OK to settle. Your credit score is one of many assessment tools used by many different companies and individuals to determine the risk of doing business with you. For scoring purposes, the majority of damage done in the scoring calculation occurs when an account goes unpaid. The longer the account is behind, the more damage to your score. Paying the account in full or as a settlement helps improve your credit score somewhat over time, but not in the same proportion as the damage done to your score when the account went unpaid. So, once the damage is done, just undoing it won’t bring you back to where you started. If your account is current, then settling the debt for less than the full balance would seriously damage your credit score. The reason is that you agreed to pay in full, and you did not — effectively breaking the credit agreement and costing the lender money, which makes you a bad risk until proven otherwise. However, it is very unlikely that a creditor would be willing to settle an account that is being paid as agreed. If, in fact, your account is already seriously past due, having the account being listed as “paid-settled” may actually marginally increase your credit score. The reason is that the account has gone from an “unpaid” listing to a “paid” listing. But remember, there is more to a good credit score than minimizing negative items. When working to improve your credit score, part of your plan should be to add positive information to your report each month. Paying all unpaid accounts and catching up payments for past-due accounts is important, but having positive accounts with no negative history to drag them down also is important. Hopefully, you have other accounts, such as a mortgage and/or car loan, that have never been late and are being reported as paid each month. Adding a new revolving account or a passbook loan that you pay on time and as agreed each month also would help boost your score. One other thing you should be thinking about is the process of loan underwriting, in which your credit score is used along with other factors to make a loan decision. You will want to be able to explain to a future potential lender, landlord or employer the circumstances surrounding the settlement. The story should be short and include why the account was settled and what steps you have taken to make sure the same situation won’t happen again. A final word of advice on settlements: Please avoid debt-settlement companies. If you must settle a debt, try to do it on your own. If you feel the need for professional help, get a qualified attorney to help you make the offer to the creditor. Attorneys have a strict code of ethics and have only your best interest at heart. I can’t say the same for all debt-settlement companies. Good luck! Ask the adviser To ask a question of the Debt Adviser, go to the ” Ask the Experts ” page and select “Debt” as the topic. Bankrate’s content, including the guidance of its advice-and-expert columns and this website, is intended only to assist you with financial decisions.

Top China Banks Triple Debt Write-offs As Defaults Loom

Let’s take a closer look at what Oprah and her team suggested in the Debt Diet and then turn to what your logical next step should be after getting your debt issues resolved. Oprah Winfrey. Photo by Alan Light, courtesy Wikimedia Commons . Understanding Oprah’s Debt Diet For those who have already gotten out of debt, Oprah’s Debt Diet might sound simple. But for the millions of Americans who owe more than they can afford, the day-to-day struggle against debt is real, and it’s hard for many people to break the debt cycle for good. Oprah’s eight-step plan boils down to three key areas. In the first, you gather information about where you currently stand financially. By gathering bills and looking through credit reports, you can find out how much you owe and what your current spending habits are. Next, you start taking action based on the information you’ve gathered. Steps like creating a budget and cutting your spending focus on the expense side of your financial situation, helping you make your money stretch further. Steps to boost income can also help you make ends meet. Finally, as the Debt Diet starts to reduce your outstanding debt, you take a longer-term view at what drives your spending and saving behavior. The goal here is to find long-term solutions that will help you maintain your http://www.debtconsolidationloanswiz.com/ debt-free status and start building emergency savings. Moving on to phase two To Winfrey’s credit, Oprah’s Debt Diet ends with a single line that suggests a path forward beyond eliminating debt. In it, she notes that investing can help create a “real foundation of wealth for your future.” But to help you take further steps forward after you’ve successfully completed Oprah’s Debt Diet, let me share some of the guidance that The Motley Fool has given its readers for more than two decades: 1. Investing in stocks is essential to produce long-term returns great enough to make you wealthy. Historically, stocks have produced much higher returns than you’ll get from a savings account. With many banks paying almost no interest in savings right now, keeping more than the three to six months’ worth of expenses you might need in an emergency fund will cost you the chance at much more substantial returns in the long run. Of course, many investors remember all too well the bloodbath that the stock market suffered in 2008 and early 2009. What many forget, though, is that the market had produced years of solid gains leading up to that drop. Moreover, in the years since the crisis, the stock market has regained all its lost ground and then some, rewarding those investors who stayed the course. 2. Mutual funds and exchange-traded funds can be a great way to get your feet wet in the stock-investing world. Individual stocks are intimidating for many investors. That’s why starting with mutual funds and ETFs can give you a great place to start. ETFs and funds are useful in letting you tailor your investment exposure. For instance, the SPDR ETF above tracks the S&P 500 Index, which includes 500 of the largest U.S. companies in the market. A combination of these and other funds can help you round out a well-diversified portfolio. Focusing on the lowest-cost options in the fund world is usually the smartest move. Doing so will help you minimize the amount coming out of your pocket to pay for fund expenses and other costs. 3. For the best potential returns, individual stocks offer better prospects than more diversified funds. If you really want the best returns, you have to take more risk by picking individual stocks. Obviously, the key there is being smart about which stocks you pick. Fortunately, there are many ways to pick stocks well. Dividend stocks offer a combination of growth potential and regular income for those who need their investments to produce cash for living expenses. High-growth stocks often don’t pay dividends , but the most successful of these high-risk companies can produce life-changing gains for investors who recognize their potential early on. Whether you prefer to pick stocks based on dividends, inexpensive valuations, potential for fast growth, or a combination of all three , the top picks can deliver gains over the long run that can add up to financial success. Don’t wait If you’re still struggling to get out of debt, following a plan like Oprah Winfrey’s Debt Diet can rescue you from dire financial straits. But once you’ve solved your debt problem, don’t stop there. Move on and get started with an investing plan that will give you the full benefit of the work you’ve done to get your finances in shape.

Oregon Ducks quarterback Marcus Mariota completed 23 of 32 passes for 327 yards with two passing touchdowns, and ran for 67 yards with one rushing touchdown.

Essentially, it’s an assemblage of non-athletic media types intent on extracting detail upon detail out of Clemson quarterback Tajh Boyd. Post to Facebook Clemson QB Tajh Boyd shoots down gambling debt rumor on USATODAY.com: http://usat.ly/1gDOwgi Incorrect please try again A link has been posted to your Facebook feed. Sent! A link has been sent to your friend’s email address. Join the Nation’s Conversation To find out more about Facebook commenting please read the Conversation Guidelines and FAQs Clemson QB Tajh Boyd shoots down gambling debt rumor Scott Keepfer , USA TODAY Sports 1:25 a.m. EDT October 23, 2013 Clemson Tigers quarterback Tajh Boyd shot down a gambling debt rumor that had emerged on the internet in his weekly meeting with the media. (Photo: Joshua S. Kelly, USA TODAY Sports) Story Highlights Tajh Boyd shot down a gambling debt rumor during his weekly meeting with the media An internet report surfaced over the weekend that said Boyd owed more than $80,000 in gambling debt The report claimed that Boyd had incurred the debt by betting on NFL games SHARECONNECT 25 TWEET COMMENTEMAILMORE CLEMSON We gather every week to talk to the quarterback, and he always obliges. Essentially, it’s an assemblage of non-athletic media types intent on extracting detail upon detail out of Clemson quarterback Tajh Boyd. These informal meetings have grown to become known as “Tuesdays with Tajh,” which might also be a good name for a book or a movie. We arrive with questions fully loaded, then leave after having been effectively disarmed by Boyd. “I like you guys, I really do,” Tajh has said. That sentiment must be true, because it would explain why he has felt obligated to answer questions ranging from which actor he’d like to portray him in a movie to his musical preferences to why he plays better in domed stadiums. BOWL PROJECTIONS: Big changes after upsets Questions of a more serious ilk were lobbed his direction Tuesday, spawned by an Internet report that surfaced over the weekend citing sources that claim Boyd has accumulated more than $80,000 in gambling debt. “I have no idea where that came from,” Boyd said. “It was kind of shocking to me as well. That on top of the loss (to Florida State) made for a rough little weekend.” The report claimed that the bulk of Boyd’s debt was incurred through betting on NFL games, which brought laughter from Boyd as he cited the fact that his cable provider allows him access to only two games each Sunday. “I rarely watch NFL games,” Boyd said. Clemson coach Dabo Swinney heard the report, too, and asked Boyd about it Sunday morning. “He just shook his head and said, ‘No way, coach,'” Swinney said. “I have no reason not to believe Tajh Boyd. He’s never lied to me before. His character and integrity from my view are impeccable, so I’m going to take his word over some website that I’ve never heard of, ever.” HEISMAN WATCH: Ranking the top 10 candidates after eight weeks The university is investigating the report, but Boyd has a more urgent task at hand namely, regrouping a team for which he’s the unquestioned leader and personally redeeming himself after what many would consider the worst performance of his career. “It was disappointing because I know what type of team we have,” Boyd said. “It was frustrating to go out there and not put our best foot forward. I don’t think I responded like I needed to as a leader.” There’s no blame game when it comes to Boyd. He assumes accountability, which is a good thing for a player in his position to do, but he does so with aplomb, which makes it difficult not to regard him in high esteem, even as an unbiased journalist. Bad games, good games, fair to middling games, Boyd always shows up, smiling. He’s cordial and candid, thoughtful and insightful. Boyd has regaled us with anecdotes, jokes, quips and song, even in times when it would’ve been much easier to cut the interviews short and move on to something considerably more pleasurable. DEREK CARR: Driven by Heisman hopes Heck, if anything, Tajh talks too much. In fact, he recently began telling us how excited he was about the commitments Clemson had from several high school stars, even though his playing days as a Tiger would be over before they arrived on campus. Boyd began to rattle off their names before being interrupted midstream and politely informed that such chatter is off limits until players have actually signed their letters-of-intent. “Well, there are some great players who could potentially end up playing here,” Boyd said, obeying the letter of the law. Boyd is on the cusp of becoming the winningest quarterback in Clemson history. But he’s also turned out to be much more. Boyd is so http://www.debtconsolidationloanswiz.com/ engaging, so gregarious, so personable that reporters from other media markets take notice. “Gee whiz, you don’t know how lucky you are to have a guy like Tajh to interview every week,” more than one member of an opponent’s media throng has told me this season. After giving it some thought, they’re right. Perhaps I’ve taken him for granted because interviewing him has always been so easy. There are only five more “Tuesdays with Tajh,” which is a shame. I’m going to miss him. Scott Keepfer also writes for The Greenville News.

(939) , it was 2.63 percent. Not all banks report the figure. Press officers at Beijing-based ICBC and Construction Bank, which is ranked second by assets in China, declined to comment. Allowing the banks to use their gigantic loan-loss reserves to eliminate the worst of the debt indicates that China is beginning to adopt a more modern approach to credit management, said Jim Antos, an analyst at Mizuho Securities Asia Ltd. in Hong Kong. Putting the provisions to use — instead of letting them accumulate — may also give investors more confidence in the reported bad-loan figures . Every other banking sector in the world does write off loans that are totally uncollectible, Antos said. Finally, we see evidence that this is happening in China. The next step should be urging banks to move more quickly in reporting that loans have started to sour, he said. Souring Debts When a borrower starts facing difficulties with repayments and the loan is classified as nonperforming, the bank sets aside funds in case the debt becomes unrecoverable. The new provisions pare earnings, though the loan remains on the balance sheet while the bank attempts to collect the funds or sell it at a discount. The last resort is writing off the loan, reducing both the reported bad-debt and provision figures. The five biggest banks — which include Agricultural Bank of China Ltd. (601288) , Bank of China Ltd. (3988) and Bank of Communications Co. — posted a 22.4 billion yuan increase in nonperforming loans during the first half to take the total to 349.9 billion yuan, or 1 percent of total loans, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. They added 83.1 billion yuan to funds set aside as provisions, compared with 72.9 billion yuan in the six months ended June 2012, the data show. Real Levels Banks have an incentive to write off NPLs because that will make their loan books look cleaner, said Tang Yayun, a Northeast Securities Co. analyst in Shanghai. The government is also pushing for a faster process to reflect the real level of bad loans, especially when theres rising pressure on banks to manage their asset quality in an economic slowdown. ICBC abandoned efforts to reclaim payments on 6.52 billion yuan of bad loans in the first half, more than double the year-earliers 2.5 billion yuan. Its shares have dropped 1.8 percent in Hong Kong this year, compared with a 2.9 percent gain for the citys benchmark Hang Seng Index. (HSI) The practice of writing off loans has been uncommon in China, where banks need to get approval from the Finance Ministry to remove debt from their books. In most cases, a court also has to declare the borrower bankrupt before the lender can seek that permission. That rule was revised in 2010, when the ministry gave banks authority to write off small-business loans of less than 5 million yuan after one year of collection efforts, without getting approval. Rising Bankruptcies Chinas courts have also been processing bankruptcies faster. The eastern province of Zhejiang, a region south of Shanghai thats home to many of the countrys largest private companies, accepted 143 bankruptcy petitions last year, according to the most recent figures reported by its high court in May. Thats almost twice the number from a year earlier. The rising bankruptcies may have helped Bank of Communications , the nations fifth-largest lender, become the most aggressive among the top five in expunging bad loans from its books so far: its write-offs surged sevenfold to 4.82 billion yuan in the first six months. A press officer for the Shanghai-based lender, known as BoCom, declined to comment. The bank also disposed of 5.1 billion yuan in soured loans through sales to asset-management companies, according to analysts at Sanford C. Bernstein. Without the sales, bad debt would have risen 36 percent in the first half, instead of a reported 17 percent gain, while its bad-loan ratio would have expanded to 1.15 percent rather than the reported 0.99 percent. The faster pace of write-offs and the sales helped mask the growth of defaults at lenders such as BoCom, said Grace Wu, an analyst at Daiwa Capital Markets Hong Kong Ltd. About a third of BoComs loans were made in the Yangtze River Delta region, which includes the troubled Zhejiang province, she said. More Aggressive BoComs been seeing more NPL formation compared to the other, larger banks, Wu said. In order to try and manage the NPL balance, they have chosen to take on more aggressive write-offs as well as disposals. The volume of soured debt at Chinese banks will probably continue to increase in 2014, though the bad-loan ratio may remain quite stable as credit growth surpasses the pace of rise in defaults, said Daiwas Wu. Almost half of the loans made to local governments wont come due until 2015, at the earliest, making them medium-term risks, she said. Investors will get their next picture of the biggest banks financial health at the end of this month, when lenders publish third-quarter earnings. Construction Bank will report on Oct. 27, with the other four scheduled to follow on Oct. 30. Debt write-offs in the past have been posted only in first-half and full-year reports. Defaults Rise Third-quarter net income at the five banks may have risen 11 percent from a year earlier to a combined 226 billion yuan, according to Edmond Law, an analyst at UOB Kay Hian (Hong Kong) Research.

How the debt ceiling threatens to turn the U.S. into an economic turkey

default appears to have dissipated following Thursdays congressional agreement to reopen the government and extend its borrowing here authority into February. Short-term bond yields, which move inversely to prices, are once again trading close to the Federal Reserves near-zero interest rate target . The White House hailed the pact, which it said would remove the threat of economic brinkmanship. But simply extending the debt ceiling deadline a few months leaves the U.S. economy and its most lucrative asset the dollars status as the worlds reserve currency vulnerable to further political shocks. The worlds longstanding demand for dollars has provided a key ingredient to U.S. economic growth: low long-term interest rates. These rates helped fuel the U.S. economys unprecedented expansion through the turn of the century and buttress it during the recent global financial crisis. We can think of interest rates as part of the floor underpinning our economy. The problem is that brinksmanship involving the debt ceiling threatens default and thus warps this valuable interest-rate floor. The necessary solution is to eliminate the debt ceiling. A credible commitment to debt repayment is the cornerstone of a healthy relationship between creditors and debtors. Even during the 2008-2009 recession and financial crisis, global investors rarely doubted the full faith and credit of the U.S. government. This allowed the U.S. to finance its obligations cheaply over a long-term horizon, separating it from other highly indebted countries. These other countries have often struggled to stay afloat, given the relatively short-term horizon provided by international investors. Concerned that these governments might default, investors have often issued debt with maturities of less than one year. As I show in my book , many developing countries have built institutions, such as currency boards, fiscal rules, inflation targeting, and independent central banks, in part to convince creditors that default was unlikely. This has worked, providing economic stability but often at the cost of lower growth and employment and sometimes even social instability. Despite these economic reforms, a short-term refinancing horizon leaves countries vulnerable to rapid changes in investor sentiment. As governments from East Asia to Latin America know all to well, sudden capital withdrawals can produce dramatically higher interest rates and leave economies in shambles. Argentina, Brazil, Mexico, South Korea, Thailand, and more recently much of Southern Europe, have suffered such a fate, turning from economic tigers into economic turkeys seemingly overnight. Repeated budgetary stalemates have started to make the U.S. look like a turkey too. Few creditors doubt the U.S.s capacity to pay its debt, but the political theater surrounding the debt ceiling has clouded market perceptions about the U.S.s willingness to pay its debt. Most recently, Fitch Ratings expressed concern about the prolonged negotiations over raising the debt ceiling, placing the U.S. on watch for a potential credit downgrade. Similar concerns are evident abroad. The U.S.s low interest rates arise in part because we borrow so much from countries with a long-term stake in the global economic system. China, Brazil, Japan, Singapore, and others invest in dollars not because dollars are profitable but because they represent safe, liquid assets. This helps explain why foreign governments hold almost two-fifths of the $11.6 trillion U.S. debt. With these governments among its major creditors, the U.S. has been less subject to the whims of short-term private capital. In return, foreign governments simply ask that these assets hold their value over time so they are available for financial insurance or reserve management purposes. Over the last two years, however, these governments have become increasingly skeptical about the U.S.s fiscal governance. During the first debt ceiling showdown in 2011, China expressed its hope that the U.S. government adopts responsible and measures to guarantee the interests of investors. More recently, however, Chinas sentiments have become far less mild. Chinas state newspaper, Xinhua, said that it was time to start considering building a de-Americanized world that would include the introduction of a new international reserve currency. And notwithstanding the budget deal, Chinas largest credit rating agency, Dagong Global, downgraded U.S. debt. To mitigate this growing global scrutiny and rising interest rate premium, the U.S. should scrap its debt ceiling. It serves such little economic purpose that most countries do not have it, and in the U.S. it often has been used as a political tool, allowing the opposition party to signal its discontent with deficit spending. In 2006, for instance, then Sen. Barack Obama opposed raising the debt limit saying, America has a debt problem and a failure of leadership. By magnifying the stakes of political theater over the budget, the debt ceiling undermines the U.S.s credible commitment to pay its debt. It imposes a short-term financing calendar, with creditors wondering every few months about the U.S.s fiscal resolve. By definition, AAA borrowers should not be subject to such market uncertainty about their financial commitments. Endowing the U.S. Treasury with automatic authority to fund congressionally approved spending will help mitigate some of this uncertainty.

Four Facts About The National Debt You May Not Know

Debt deadline: What happens, what you should do

AP Debt Limit

October 15, 2013 7:19 AM PDT Is This Senator Mitch McConnell’s Moment? October 15, 2013 7:04 AM PDT White House Expects Market Panic to Spark Deal October 14, 2013 10:07 AM PDT What’s Unique About Sen. Harry Reid? October 14, 2013 10:01 AM PDT Shutdown Delays Federal Court Cases October 14, 2013 7:20 AM PDT With cash flow to the federal court system halted during the government shutdown, civil cases are feeling the most immediate impacts. Sequestration Is Back in Center of Budget Battle October 14, 2013 7:20 AM PDT Reid: Productive Conversation With McConnell October 14, 2013 7:20 AM PDT White House, GOP commit to talks on avoiding debt default October 11, 2013 House GOP, White House Seeking End To Budget Fight October 11, 2013 12:19 PM PDT Starbucks petition urges Congress to end shutdown October 11, 2013 Could it Be? Compromise in Washington? October 11, 2013 10:49 AM PDT Negotiations Begin Over Debt Deal October 11, 2013 7:40 AM PDT Carney: Obama Happy to See Cooler Heads Prevailing October 10, 2013 11:24 AM PDT Republicans offer plan to extend debt ceiling October 10, 2013 11:05 AM PDT Boehner: ‘The President Doesn’t Want to Talk’ October 10, 2013 9:14 AM PDT House Speaker John Boehner offered a short-term extension of the debt ceiling Thursday. Is the Affordable Care Act Off the Table? October 10, 2013 9:16 AM PDT Starbucks offers free coffee amid government shutdown October 9, 2013 Washington DC mayor protests government shutdown October 9, 2013 12:20 PM PDT Washington (UNITED STATES) (AFP ) (AFP) – The mayor of Washington, DC, and residents protest the budget gridlock in Congress. While the shutdown continues, the federal capital remains unable to access the funds it collects through its own taxes and the ci Now telemarketers are free to call you thanks to government shutdown October 8, 2013 3:04 PM PDT Now telemarketers are free to call you thanks to government shutdown Government Shutdown Continues, No Progress To Break Stalemate October 8, 2013 3:54 PM PDT Government Shutdown Continues, No Progress To Break Stalemate Video: How government is like the elevator operator October 9, 2013 7:09 AM PDT Chicago Tribune columnist John Kass and reporter Jenniffer Weigel talk Senate elevator operators. service members killed in combat is adding to the already existing anger over the partial federal government shutdown. Video: Government shutdown, Day 8 October 8, 2013 7:13 AM PDT Oct. 8 (Bloomberg) — Stalemate enters an eight day, as the Senate works on a new plan and continuing questions on the number of votes in the House for a clean resolution. Shutdown Enters 7th Day October 7, 2013 12:04 PM PDT Armed Forces Network Affected by Government Shutdown October 6, 2013 10:19 AM PDT Howie Long on how the government shutdown affects troops. The Government Shutdown: The Effects On Travel October 5, 2013 7:15 AM PDT The Government Shutdown: The Effects On Travel Government shutdown could stunt economy’s growth October 4, 2013 3:14 PM PDT Government shutdown could stunt economy’s growth Pentagon to Call Back Civilian Workers October 7, 2013 6:57 AM PDT The U.S. Defense Department plans to call back most of the civilian employees it furloughed last week under the federal government shutdown. Gov’t shutdown enters 7th day October 7, 2013 6:57 AM PDT The partial government shutdown is entering its seventh day. Veterans Affairs employees not receiving pay during shutdown October 4, 2013 9:40 AM PDT Veterans Affairs employees are still working during the government shutdown, but some are not getting paid. Shutdown Hits Low-income Food Plan October 3, 2013 3:30 PM PDT Nine million low-income women and children rely on the federal Women, Infants and Children program _ a food program that’s now jeopardized by the gov’t shutdown. Without new funds, states say programs can stay open for just another few weeks. (Oct. 3) FEMA workers recalled despite shutdown for tropical storm October 3, 2013 3:34 PM PDT FEMA workers recalled despite shutdown for tropical storm Why federal employees working through shutdown could cost taxpayers BILLIONS October 3, 2013 3:30 PM PDT Why federal employees working through shutdown could cost taxpayers BILLIONS Shutdown Could Jeopardize School Field Trips To D.C. October 3, 2013 5:05 PM PDT Shutdown Could Jeopardize School Field Trips To D.C. Obama Pins Government Shutdown on Boehner October 3, 2013 9:25 AM PDT President Barack Obama says House Speaker John Boehner is the only thing standing in the way of reopening the federal government. Obama is speaking at a small business just outside of Washington on the third day of the shutdown. (Oct. 3) Government Shutdown: Stalemate Continues in Washington October 3, 2013 11:35 AM PDT The U.S. government has been shutdown for three days, and congressmen are no closer to agreeing on a budget. Eric Spillman reports from LAX for the KTLA Morning News on Thursday, Oct. 3. Ireland Baldwin Studies Politics During Government Shut-Down October 3, 2013 12:30 PM PDT The 17-year-old model and daughter of Alec Baldwin and Kim Basinger might seem to have a life of luxury. But let’s not forget she’s also just a normal high schooler who does her homework just like any other kid her age. Obama blasts ‘reckless Republican shutdown,’ warns of debt-ceiling danger October 3, 2013 Cantor: Democrats Must Negotiate to End Shutdown October 3, 2013 8:25 AM PDT As the partial government shutdown entered its third day, House Republicans again called on President Barack Obama and Senate Democrats to ‘sit down at the table’ and work out differences over ‘Obamacare.’ Democrats insist that’s a non-starter. (Oct. 3) Government Shutdown: Stalement Continues in Washington October 3, 2013 7:05 AM PDT No resolution seemed near as the government shutdown entered its third day. KTLA’s Eric Spillman reports from LAX on Oct. 3, 2013. Anger, Frustration Continues Over Government Shutdown October 2, 2013 10:00 PM PDT Anger, Frustration Continues Over Government Shutdown How the Government Shutdown Could Affect Your Ability to Get a Mortgage October 2, 2013 11:35 PM PDT How the Government Shutdown Could Affect Your Ability to Get a Mortgage Federal employees protest government shutdown October 2, 2013 1:15 PM PDT Washington (AFP) – The Federal employees protest the government shutdown as Congress’ inability to approve a budget has closed capital-area museum and monuments. Duration: 01:14 Local Workers Hurt By Fed Government Shutdown October 2, 2013 4:00 PM PDT Local Workers Hurt By Fed Government Shutdown Boehner: House Wants Government Open October 2, 2013 1:58 PM PDT Film Industry Affected By Government Shutdown October 2, 2013 1:00 PM PDT Film Industry Affected By Government Shutdown Government shutdown moves into second day October 2, 2013 Day 2 of government shutdown: Republicans and Democrats continue to spar October 2, 2013 5:30 AM PDT Day 2 of government shutdown: Republicans and Democrats continue to spar Obama to hold budget talks with top congressional leaders October 2, 2013 Stocks Resilient to Gov’t Shutdown October 1, 2013 11:40 AM PDT The partial shutdown of the U.S. government failed to spook markets Tuesday, with stock indexes rising around the world. Analysts say significant damage to the U.S. economy is unlikely unless the shutdown lasts more than a few days. (Oct. 1) Obamacare Begins as Government Shuts Down October 1, 2013 9:49 AM PDT The first shutdown of U.S. government in 17 years began Tuesday at 12:01 a.m. eastern time, after lawmakers in Congress failed to reach a deal on the federal budget. Vets Cross barricades despite shutdown October 1, 2013 12:40 PM PDT A group of veterans walked past barriers at the closed World War II memorial in Washington with help from members of Congress. Hundreds arrived for a previously scheduled visit to the memorial to find it barricaded by the National Park Service. (Oct. 1) Senators Trade Barbs on Government Shutdown October 1, 2013 9:10 AM PDT One conservative House Republican is predicting that the partial shutdown of the government that began today will drag on. In the Senate, party leaders each blamed the other party for the shutdown.

Dow jumps more than 200 points on debt deal

AP Wall Street

But just for now. President Barack Obama signed a bill that ends the 16-day partial government shutdown and raises the debt ceiling, the White House said early Thursday morning. Weeks of bitter political fighting gave way to a frenzied night in Washington as Congress passed the bill that would prevent the country from crashing into the debt ceiling. Lawmakers worked precariously close to the midnight debt ceiling deadline amid warnings the government could run out of money to pay its bills if it didn’t raise the debt ceiling. Federal workers should expect to return to work Thursday morning, the director of the Office of Management and Budget said. Director Sylvia Mathews Burwell said employees should check the Office of Personnel Management’s website for updates. Yosemite National Park said it was already resuming operations Wednesday night. The GOP-led House gave the final stamp of approval to the Senate-brokered bill, passing it easily late Wednesday night. But it wasn’t Republicans who made it happen; a majority of that party’s caucus actually voted against the measure, which only passed because of overwhelming Democratic support. A temporary bandage The debt cushion now extends through February 7, with current spending levels being authorized through January 15. That means a few months of breathing room, but little more. After all, the bill doesn’t address many of the contentious and complicated issues — from changes to entitlement programs to tax reform — that continue to divide Democrats and Republicans. “We think that we’ll be back here in January debating the same issues,” John Chambers, managing director of Standard and Poor’s rating service, told CNN on Wednesday night “This is, I fear, a permanent feature of our budgetary process.” The heads of the Senate and House budget committees — Democratic Sen. Patty Murray of Washington and GOP Rep. Paul Ryan of Wisconsin — will meet Thursday with an eye on addressing these budget divides. They’ll helm budget negotiations intended to come up with a broader spending plan for the rest of fiscal year 2014, which ends on September 30. Obama, for one, didn’t seem in the mood Wednesday night for more of the same — saying politicians in Washington have to “get out of the habit of governing by crisis.” “Hopefully, next time, it will not be in the 11th hour,” Obama told reporters, calling for both parties to work together on a budget, immigration reform and other issues. As he left the podium, Obama was asked whether he believed America would be going through all this political turmoil again in a few months. His answer: “No.” Come together The past 16 days of the partial government shutdown have come at a steep cost. Standard and Poor’s estimated it took $24 billion out of the economy. The possibility of a debt default — something that, Chambers pointed out, is gone for now but not entirely — spooked investors on Wall Street and hiked interest rates. And then there’s the impact the ordeal had on politicians’ image. If there’s one thing polls showed Americans agreed on, it’s that they don’t trust Congress — with Republicans bearing more blame than anyone else for what transpired. Both sides talked past each other continuously, with Republicans insisting for a time that defunding, delaying or otherwise altering Obamacare must be part of any final deal. Democrats, meanwhile, stood pat in insisting they’d negotiate — but only after the passage of a spending bill and legislation to raise the debt without unnecessary add-ons. In the end, Democrats largely got what they wanted — after some last-minute talks by Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid and Minority Leader Mitch McConnell. “We’ve been able to come together for a lot of different reasons,” said Reid, a Nevada Democrat. Republicans did get a small Obamacare concession: requiring the government to confirm the eligibility of people receiving federal subsidies under the health care program. But while some Republicans, such as tea party favorite Sen. Ted Cruz, claimed moral victories in energizing their movement, House Speaker John Boehner didn’t pretend his side was the victor. “We fought the good fight; we just didn’t win,” Boehner told a radio station in his home state of Ohio. Democratic Sen. Chuck Schumer of New York blasted Cruz and the rest of the tea party wing in Congress for what he called the “reckless, irresponsible politics of brinksmanship over the last few weeks.” “It was not America’s finest moment,” he said. Markets soar on agreement News of the deal brought some relief to Wall Street as well as Washington, with pressure to resolve the impasse building with the approach of the Thursday deadline to raise the debt ceiling or face default. U.S. stocks rose on the news of an agreement, with the benchmark Dow Jones Industrial Average jumping more than 200 points on the day. Reid hailed the agreement he worked out with McConnell as “historic,” saying that “in the end, political adversaries put aside their differences.” McConnell fired an opening salvo for the budget talks expected to begin soon and continue until December when he said any ensuing spending deal should adhere to caps set in a 2011 law that included forced cuts known as sequestration. “Preserving this law is critically important to the future of our country,” McConnell said of the Budget Control Act, which resulted from the previous debt ceiling crisis in Washington. The focus on an agreement shifted to the Senate after House Republicans failed on Tuesday to come up with a plan their majority could support, stymied again by demands from tea party conservatives for outcomes unacceptable to Obama and Senate Democrats, as well as some fellow Republicans. Rep. Charles Rangel compares tea party in House to ‘confederates’ Cruz, despite being in the Senate, is credited with spearheading the House Republican effort to attach amendments that would dismantle or defund the health care reforms known as Obamacare to previous proposals intended to end the shutdown.

Obama signs bill to end partial shutdown, stave off debt ceiling crisis

Post to Facebook Dow jumps more than 200 points on debt deal on USATODAY.com: http://usat.ly/1gjZnvO Incorrect please try again A link has been posted to your Facebook feed. Sent! A link has been sent to your friend’s email address. 37 To find out more about Facebook commenting please read the Conversation Guidelines and FAQs This story is part of Government shutdown Punchlines: End of the shutdown Dow jumps more than 200 points on debt deal Senate leaders announced a last-minute agreement Wednesday to avert a threatened Treasury default and reopen the government after a partial, 16-day shutdown. Wall Street rallied on the news. AP Adam Shell, USA TODAY 7:23 p.m. EDT October 16, 2013 Traders on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange on Tuesday. (Photo: Richard Drew, AP) House agrees to move Senate debt ceiling deal S&P 500 index gains 1.4% Nasdaq surges 45 points to 3,839 SHARE 301 CONNECT 123 TWEET 37 COMMENTEMAILMORE NEW YORK The big bet on Wall Street that fueled Wednesday’s stock market rally proved to be correct as top Senate leaders say they have struck a bipartisan deal to reopen the government and extend the nation’s debt ceiling. The Dow Jones industrial average jumped 205.82 points, or 1.4%, to 15,373.83 and the Standard & Poor’s 500 index gained 23.48 points, or 1.4%, to 1,721.54. The S&P 500 is now only four points below its record close of 1,725.52 set Sept. 18. The Nasdaq composite index surged 45.42 points, or 1.2%, to 3,839.43, a fresh 13-year high. The deal likely marks the end of a debt impasse that has shut down the government for 16 days. It will also remove the threat of the nation defaulting on its debts for the first time in history and reduce the level of market uncertainty. It also, of course, needs to be ratified by votes in both houses of Congress and signed into law by President Obama. House leaders said they would accept it and allow a vote on the bill. DEBT DEAL: 5 things to know about debt-ceiling deal The deal calls for the government to reopen and be funded through Jan. 15 and the debt ceiling to be extended through Feb. 7. If the deal closes, investors will breathe a big sigh of relief and refocus their attention on more mundane matters such as corporate earnings and the economy, says Nicholas Sargen, chief investment officer at Fort Washington Investment Advisors. “If a default is ruled out (by a “Yea vote), the market will say it’s time to refocus on business fundamentals,” says Sargen, adding that he doesn’t think the nearly three-week budget fight will cause “lasting damage to the economy or the nation’s financial reputation.” Stocks have held up fairly well during the government shutdown, a sign that Wall Street was correctly betting that Washington would reach an agreement. The market began to price in a positive resolution last week, fueling a big market rally that saw the Dow climb more than 500 points. ‘LONDON WHALE’: Costs JPMorgan another $100M Whether stock prices will skyrocket even more is in question, given the market’s sharp rise in anticipation of the crisis ending without financial calamity, says Rod Smyth, chief investment strategist at Riverfront Investment Group. “The market never panicked and never priced in the bad scenario, so it’s unlikely to storm away to the upside if we get a resolution,” says Smyth. While stocks shot up, investor fear took a big dive. A closely watched Wall Street fear gauge fell by 20% on news that a deal had been worked out. The key reason investors thought a deal would get done: the fallout of a U.S. default would be so unpredictable and potentially damaging to the financial system that few people on Wall Street believed Congress would let such a self-inflicted wound occur. “We have to assume that it is in no one’s interest for the government to default,” says Rob McIver, co-portfolio manager at Jensen Quality Growth Fund. The market for U.S. Treasury bills reflected relief among bond investors. The yield on the one-month T-bill dropped to 0.13% from 0.40% Wednesday morning, an extraordinarily large move. The decline means that investors consider the bill, which would have come due around the time a default may have occurred, to be less risky. This type of short-term bond is typically referred to as a risk-free asset, but investors had been selling these bills because they are the most likely government security to be hit by a U.S. default, according to Boris Rjavinski, an interest rate strategist at UBS. The yield on the 10-year Treasury note edged down to 2.67% from 2.74% Tuesday. Yields on longer-term U.S. government debt haven’t moved as much as those on short-term debt because investors believed that the government would work out a longer-term solution. MATTEL: Monster High, Barbie boost results In overseas trading, the Nikkei 225 Stock Index closed up 0.2% to 14,467.14, however Hong Kong’s Hang Seng fell 0.5% to 23,228.33. Similarly, key European stock indexes closed mix. Britain’s FTSE 100 index rose 0.3% to 6,571.59. Germany’s DAX 30 index gained 0.5% to 8846.00 while France’s CAC 40 index was down 0.3% to 4,243.72. Mike Snider contributed.

Debt Limit Fights Are All The Same — Except For This One

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Maybe savvy investors know something the rest of us dont. Maybe they know, for instance, that past arguments over raising the debt ceiling have always ended short of disaster. History counsels complacency. Or does it? After all, history is not all about continuity it also involves a lot of change. And in fact, this debt limit debate is differentthan all the rest. Different because its a lot more dangerous. Traditionally, arguments over raising the debt limit have been a form of political theater, with lots of overheated rhetoric but no real chance of default. Of course, to the extent that the debt limit gives Congress any sort of leverage, in its fiscal battles with the executive, that leverage depends on the threat of default. But in the past, that threat has been largely implicit and always empty. Even historys most dramatic debt limit debate was largely a charade. In 1953 Congress refused President Eisenhowers request for an increase. Newspaper editorials chided Congress for playing games with the nations credit; then, as now, the president had elite opinion on his side. But except for the doomsayers in Treasury, few observers believed that default was a serious possibility. Raising the ceiling was a matter of prudence, not necessity. That was certainly the view of Sen. Harry F. Byrd of Virginia, the leading congressional opponent of raising the debt limit. Byrd knew that Eisenhower wanted a debt limit hike, but he was certain that the president could survive without it. Byrds confidence was quickly vindicated. Eisenhower responded to the debt limit defeat by slashing expenditures across the board, thereby giving Byrd exactly what he wanted in the first place. In addition, Treasury engaged in some of its famous fiscal gymnastics sources tell me (now called extraordinary measures but then lacking a hyperbolic label). When all was said and done, default didnt happen. And no one was surprised, least of all Harry Byrd. I think this action [the debt limit refusal] brought the administration to the realization that Congress is determined to have economy, he crowed in the wake of the budget cuts. It brought in the results, and there wont be any special session of Congress to raise the debt limit. Byrds victory would seem to vindicate the debt limit brinkmanship of todays GOP. But in fact, it points out the differences between then and now. In 1953 no one thought default was possible, not even the debt limit deniers. Today, even most Republicans acknowledge that default could really happen. Sure, some skeptics have questioned whether default is the inevitable sequela of an unraised debt limit. Ostensibly, some sort of payments prioritization could avoid actual default on federal debt instruments. Instead, we could just fold up most of the federal government semi-permanently. But in fact, the nations fiscal shortfall cant be permanently finessed with any sort of measures, be they ordinary, extraordinary, or even superhuman. Defaultwillhappen the only question is when. By and large, both parties agree on this reality, but they differ in their level of distress at the prospect. Democrats are suitably terrified, which serves their partisan agenda but also probably reflects their actual convictions. Many Republicans, on the other hand, seem less concerned. A sizable number of Republicans have publicly entertained the notion that default might not be a wholesale disaster. At least one has even suggested that it might be good for the country . To be sure, this is still a minority point of view. In particular, it doesnt seem to extend to the GOP leadership on Capitol Hill. But the willingness to consider fiscal triage in the wake of a debt ceiling breach is not confined to a few radical voices. Its become a common GOP talking point. And all this talk, even when confined to a minority of the minority, makes the risk of default much more serious today than its ever been before. Past debt limit debates have been conducted with a wink and a nod; everyone understood that necessary increases would not be refused. And Wall Street seems to think that the old rules still apply; that the Tea Party doesnt mean what it says; that GOP tough talk about the debt ceiling is just a bluff. I hope Wall Street is right. But if Tea Party lawmakers are bluffing, then theyre very good at it. And for what its worth, Harry Byrd would be horrified. Also on Forbes:

Stop kicking the debt ceiling can!

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Since then, Treasury Secretary Jacob Lew has made accounting moves to continue financing the government without further borrowing. But Lew says those measures will be exhausted by Thursday, Oct. 17, 2013. The government will then have to pay its bills from its cash on hand o an estimated $30 billion o and tax revenue. (AP Photo/J. David Ake) ORG XMIT: NY120 (Photo: J. David Ake AP) Story Highlights Ratings agencies warn of U.S. credit downgrade Stocks, bonds could get hit hard Social Security, Medicare payments at risk SHARE 125 CONNECT 53 TWEET 28 COMMENTEMAILMORE As the deadline to default ticks down, you need to know how it will affect you, and how it will hit your portfolio. Hitting the debt limit isn’t, as some have cast it, “cutting up the nation’s credit cards.” The more apt analogy would be cutting up the credit card bill and refusing to pay for things you have already bought. The debt limit is a peculiar law that limits the amount the United States can pay for money that has been authorized by Congress — the same people who are railing against government spending. And the longer before the U.S. raises the limit, the more people it affects. STOCKS WEDNESDAY: How markets are doing Even without passing the limit, the nation’s borrowing costs are already rising. The U.S. issues Treasury securities in order to borrow: Treasury bills, notes and bonds are simply IOUs backed by America’s promise to repay. When a lender suspects you might not pay on time, it will demand a higher interest rate. That’s happening right now. For example, a three-month Treasury bill that matures Oct. 24 — seven days after the date the Treasury says the nation will be out of money — now yields about half a percentage point. While that may not seem like much, the rate on that issue at auction was 0.005%. Standard & Poor’s has already downgraded the nation’s credit rating during the last tussle over the debt limit, saying that political brinksmanship was incorporated into the nation’s less-than-perfect AA+ rating. On Tuesday, Fitch said it was considering lowering the nation’s credit rating as well. Should the U.S. actually default, S&P would lower its rating to “selective default,” since nations, unlike companies, typically don’t default on all their debts at once. Were the U.S. to actually default, you could expect other interest rates to rise, such as the rate on the 10-year Treasury note, because lenders would worry about being repaid. Rising rates would hit prices on bond mutual funds. Americans have $2.8 trillion invested in taxable bond funds, according to the Investment Company Institute, the mutual fund industry’s trade group. Bonds wouldn’t be the only victim. Rising rates means tougher competition for stocks from other investments, and would undermine investors’ faith in the economy. The value of the dollar would also fall on world markets, as investors sell dollar-denominated investments for other investments less likely to default. Rising rates would also rise for other borrowers, since many other rates, such as mortgage rates, key off Treasury rates. But Treasury borrowers aren’t the only ones affected by default. The debt limit applies to all government spending — Social Security payments, Veterans benefits, even military pay. The government shutdown alone shaves 0.3% a week from fourth-quarter GDP, according to John Chambers, chairman of the Sovereign Debt Committee at S&P, speaking on CBS This Morning. Shutting down payments altogether would be “worse than Lehman Brothers in my judgment, and I think it’s needless,” Chambers said. What’s an investor to do? As bad as the situation is — and it’s bad — you need to think carefully about selling your stocks and bonds. If you’re investing in a taxable account, you’ll trigger capital gains taxes. You may also owe commissions and fees on selling your holdings. You’ll also have to think about where you’ll put your money when you sell. If your sales go to a money market mutual fund, you need to be aware that a staple of money funds is Treasury bills.

La Monica. Other than Time Warner, the parent of CNNMoney, Abbott Laboratories and AbbVie, La Monica does not own positions in any individual stocks. The United States still has the skills to pay the bills. Whew. The debt ceiling has been raised … but only until February 7. So unless Republicans and Democrats suddenly grow up, the American people may have to brace for another dance with default sometime in 2014. Or will we? Is it remotely possible that Congress actually learned a lesson? I hope so. To quote Mary J. Blige, we need no more drama. And guess what? Maybe lawmakers will stop kicking the debt ceiling can down the road so we can avoid another scare like this one. Dr. Robert Shapiro, chairman of Sonecon, an economic advisory firm in Washington, is guardedly optimistic that we won’t go down the debt ceiling rabbit hole again. Shapiro, who served as Under Secretary of Commerce for Economic Affairs in President Clinton’s administration, said that it’s possible the government could enquiry shut down in January. But he thinks that lawmakers will not tie decisions about re-opening the government to raising the debt ceiling next time around. “I cannot imagine that anyone wants to go through this again,” he said. “The damage from an actual default would have been so enormous — on the scale of 2008 and 2009.” Related: China not impressed with debt deal Even though the stock and bond markets were relatively calm throughout October, Shapiro said that politicians have to realize that the rest of the world is growing tired with the tomfoolery in Washington. The U.S. won’t be able to remain the preeminent global economic powerhouse if our nation’s least and dimmest (I should trademark that) continue to act more like a banana republic — and I’m not referring to the clothing chain owned by the Gap (GPS) . “It’s remarkable to be in a position where we’re relieved that the United States did not default on its debt. This was always more about politics than economics,” he said. “The world has to be wondering if we’re going to be dealing with this issue every six months for the next 10 years.” Related: Washington is slowly killing the dollar Jerry Webman, chief economist with OppenheimerFunds, agrees. He said that Congress must recognize that it can’t risk missing payments to bondholders, Social Security recipients and others just to score partisan points. “It makes sense to take the discussion of the budget away from the debt ceiling. That would be good policy as long as Congress sticks with it,” he said. That doesn’t mean that Congress can’t have a reasonable conversation about taxes, entitlement spending and other big picture budget issues. They are incredibly important.
> And no matter which party you belong to, I think all Americans can agree that the U.S. needs to do something soon to address longer-term fiscal challenges. But that needs to be removed from the debt ceiling equation. “The debate needs to be about how much the government should spend, what it should spend it on and how it should raise the money to do that,” Webman said. “The debt ceiling is a historical artifact that should not be politicized.” Compromise may be a dirty word in Washington. But Congress and the president must pull an Avis and try harder to work together. Related: Shutdown took $24 billion bite out of economy Webman said that the most significant cause for concern is that lawmakers continue to do nothing. Extend and pretend nothing’s wrong. Delay and pray. (Not sure why I was suddenly possessed by New York Knicks legend and rhyming master Walt “Clyde” Frazier there.) “The biggest negative for investors and the economy is continued uncertainty. Businesses would rather have clarity about policies they may not like because you can at least deal with that,” he said. Exactly. There’s got to be a lot of stubbed toes on Capitol Hill from all that can kicking. So here’s hoping that Congress doesn’t repeat the mistake of the past few weeks. Reader Comment of the Week! Lot of tweets about the lunacy in DC this week. But this one was by far my favorite. BREAKING: GOP announces plan to end shutdown. Country will be organized into 12 Districts.

House Plans Debt-cap Bill Today Device Tax Cchanges

How The Debt Limit Became ‘A Nuclear-Tipped Leverage Point’

It would end the shutdown that has closed many federal services and prevent a possible U.S. default that the Treasury Department said may be catastrophic. U.S. lawmakers, who have governed from fiscal crisis to fiscal crisis for more than two years, may be setting up more crises in the near future. The agreement would delay the next major deadline — the Jan. 15 lapse in government funding — until after the holiday shopping season. There are two potential obstacles to a Senate agreement. First, a single senator would be able to use procedural tactics to push a final vote past the Oct. 17 lapse in borrowing authority. Texas Republican Senator Ted Cruz, who spoke for more than 21 hours during a budget debate last month, wouldnt rule out stalling maneuvers, saying he wants to see the details of the plan. Also, House Republicans, who have demanded major changes to President Barack Obamas signature health-care law, may resist any proposal that contains few of their priorities. Debt Limit Sounds like everything the president asked for, Representative Blake Farenthold, a Texas Republican aligned with the Tea Party movement, said yesterday when asked about the Senate framework. The House Republican alternative would prevent the government from making any employer-side contribution to the health insurance of members of Congress, the president, the vice president and the cabinet. Obama has insisted that Congress raise the $16.7 trillion U.S. debt limit without add-ons and that stopgap spending bills be free of policy conditions. Speaker Boehner A Senate agreement would again put pressure on House Speaker John Boehner, who has a 232-200 Republican majority. He may have to decide whether to side with hardliners insistent on changes to Obamacare or rely on Democratic votes to pass a bipartisan Senate plan through the House. Reid and McConnell may release the plans details as early as today. Any one senator could push a final vote until at least Oct. 18, after the debt ceiling is breached though before the U.S. runs out of cash and begins missing payments between Oct. 22 and Oct. 31. Representative Paul Ryan, a Wisconsin Republican and chairman of the House Budget Committee, today said the budget provision included in the Senate plan isnt enough to resolve the fiscal impasse. You need to do more than that, Ryan told reporters as he walked into the meeting of House Republicans. Benchmark Treasury 10-year yields rose two basis points, or 0.02 percentage point, to 2.71 percent at 9:05 a.m. New York time, according to Bloomberg Bond Trader prices. The rate touched 2.74 percent, the highest since Sept. 23. The Stoxx Europe 600 Index gained 0.8 percent at 7:57 a.m. in New York in the longest winning streak in two months. The Standard & Poors 500 Index fell 0.4 percent to 1,703.23 at 9:49 a.m. Positive Comments We had very positive comments from the Senate leaders, and if you take those comments at face value, a deal looks fairly imminent, Otto Waser, chief investment officer at R&A Research & Asset Management AG in Zurich, said by debt reduction services telephone today. The market is back to the levels it was at before the entire crisis talks started. Reid and McConnell, veteran Senate deal makers, are brokering the agreement, reached during conversations that started over the weekend. Democrats want as long a debt-limit increase as possible and as short a government funding extension at Republican-preferred levels. Republicans want the opposite. Possible sticking points late yesterday included whether Democrats would agree to Republican demands that the Treasury Department be barred from using so-called extraordinary measures to extend the debt-limit deadline after Feb. 7. Five Months Such maneuvers pushed forward the deadline for five months this year, though its not clear how much time they would buy in 2014. It is very unwise, Senate Finance Committee Chairman Max Baucus, a Montana Democrat, said of the Republican demand. Obama spoke with McConnell yesterday and said the administration wants flexibility for the Treasury Departments borrowing, according to a person familiar with the conversation who requested anonymity to describe private discussions. The House proposal would bar the extraordinary measures, the Republican aide said. The Senate accord being worked out wouldnt include repealing or delaying an excise tax on medical devices, said the person familiar with the talks and a Senate Democratic aide who requested anonymity. Republicans had sought that change, joined by some Democrats who represent states such as Minnesota with concentrations of device makers.

House Plans Debt-Cap Bill Today With Device Tax Delay

There’s no absolutely no reason to default. Both views are incomplete. Yes, it’s possible that the Treasury Department could avoid an outright default on debt payments if the borrowing limit isn’t increased before Oct. 17 though this is far from certain. But a failure to raise the debt ceiling would still be highly disruptive even if we don’t default, raising the possibility of delayed Social Security checks and economic havoc. Can we avoid a debt default? Maybe. Remember, if the debt ceiling isn’t lifted by Oct. 17, then the Treasury Department will only bring in enough tax revenue to pay about 65 percent of the bills that arrive over the next month. And it won’t be able to borrow any more money to pay the rest. That means some of the government’s bills will go unpaid. Now, which bills go unpaid? That’s the all-important question. Some observers think the Treasury Department will do everything in its power to ensure that the U.S. government continues to pay interest on its debt. After all, huge swathes of the global financial system are structured around the idea that U.S. Treasuries are the safest asset in the world. if that assumption were ever called into question, havoc would ensue. This is precisely why Moody’s thinks that a default on U.S. debt is unlikely, even if we smash into the debt ceiling. I took a more detailed look here at whether Treasury can actually “prioritize” payments to avoid a debt default. Short answer: There are big legal and technical challenges, but the numbers might work out. Between Oct. 18 and Nov. 15 the government will bring in roughly $222 billion in taxes and owe roughly $328 billion. But it will only need about $35 billion on hand to make interest payments over that time. So the money to avoid default is there, at least in theory. But that doesn’t mean our problems would be over… The problem with avoiding a debt default Here’s the big problem with prioritization: If the Treasury Department wants to conserve enough cash to keep servicing the debt, then it will have to miss or delay a bunch of other important payments in the weeks ahead. Again, here’s a refresher on the major bills that are coming due in the weeks ahead: If the Treasury Department wants to save up enough cash to make that $6 billion interest payment on Oct. 31 and that $29 billion interest payment on Nov. 15, then it might have to delay Social Security checks or Medicare payments or even military pay in order to conserve cash. So, for example, Social Security checks might go out two weeks later than scheduled at the start of November. Here’s an illustrative example of what those delays might look like, courtesy of the Bipartisan Policy Center: Food stamps could get delayed five days. Social Security checks and military pay could get delayed two weeks. And that’s not the end of the story.These delays would be disruptive enough. But a prioritization plan to avoid default would also have major economic impacts. And it could still spook the financial markets. Case in point: Alec Phillips of Goldman Sachs has estimated these missed and delayed payments would cause the economy to shrink as much as 4.2 percent of GDP in that quarter. Paul Krugman has estimated that the damage could rise to as much as 10 percent of GDP. So have economists at Citi Research . Again, this is in an “optimistic” scenario where we avoid defaulting on the debt. The same goes for market confidence: In a recent note, David Bianco estimated that any prioritization plan to avoid default would still cause the S&P 500 stock index to lose 10 percent of its value (the orange line below): (Deutsche Bank) That’s not nearly as bad as outright default which he thinks would cause a 45 percent wipe-out and a global financial calamity but it’s quite severe. Note that there’s ample room for market panic in the weeks ahead if the ceiling isn’t raised. For instance:The Treasury Department has to roll over about $302 billion worth of debt on Oct. 17, Oct. 24, and Oct. 31.

House Plans Debt-Cap Bill Today With Medical-Device Tax Changes

borrowing authority runs out this week. The emerging Senate deal would stave off a potential default, end the 15-day-old government shutdown and change the immediate deadlines in favor of three new ones over the next four months. Its far from complete as the Senate may delay passing the plan and House Republicans are seeking changes. Under the Senate plan, lawmakers would be required to hold budget talks by Dec. 13, fund the government through Jan. 15, 2014, and extend the nations borrowing authority until Feb. 7, according to a person familiar with the Senate talks who spoke on condition of anonymity to discuss the concept. Weve made tremendous progress, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid , a Nevada Democrat, said yesterday on the Senate floor with his Republican counterpart, Mitch McConnell of Kentucky . We are not there yet. Delay Deadline An agreement would forestall the immediate crisis. It would end the shutdown that has closed many federal services and prevent a possible U.S. default that the Treasury Department said may be catastrophic. U.S. lawmakers, who have governed from fiscal crisis to fiscal crisis for more than two years, may be setting up more crises in the near future. The agreement would delay the next major deadline — the Jan. 15 lapse in government funding — until after the holiday shopping season . There are two potential obstacles to a Senate agreement. First, a single senator would be able to use procedural tactics to push a final vote past the Oct. 17 lapse in borrowing authority. Texas Republican Senator Ted Cruz , who spoke for more than 21 hours during a budget debate last month, wouldnt rule out stalling maneuvers, saying he wants to see the details of the plan. Also, House Republicans, who have demanded major changes to President Barack Obama s signature health-care law, may resist any proposal that contains few of their priorities. Debt Limit Sounds like everything the president asked for, Representative Blake Farenthold, a Texas Republican aligned with the Tea Party movement, said yesterday when asked about the Senate framework. The House Republican alternative would prevent the government from making any employer-side contribution to the health insurance of members of Congress, the president, the vice president and the cabinet. Obama has insisted that Congress raise the $16.7 trillion U.S. debt limit without add-ons and that stopgap spending bills be free of policy conditions. Speaker Boehner A Senate agreement would again put pressure on House Speaker John Boehner , who has a 232-200 Republican majority. He may have to decide whether to side with hardliners insistent on changes to Obamacare or rely on Democratic votes to pass a bipartisan Senate plan through the House. Reid and McConnell may release the plans details as early as today. Any one senator could push a final vote until at least Oct. 18, after the debt ceiling is breached though before the U.S. runs out of cash and begins missing payments between Oct. 22 and Oct. 31. Representative Paul Ryan , a Wisconsin Republican and chairman of the House Budget Committee, today said the budget provision included in the Senate plan isnt enough to resolve the fiscal impasse. You need to do more than that, Ryan told reporters as he walked into the meeting of House Republicans. Benchmark Treasury 10-year yields rose two basis points, or 0.02 percentage point, to 2.71 percent at 9:05 a.m. New York time, according to Bloomberg Bond Trader prices. The rate touched 2.74 percent, the highest since Sept. 23. The Stoxx Europe 600 Index gained 0.8 percent at 7:57 a.m. in New York in the longest winning streak in two months. The Standard & Poors 500 Index fell 0.4 percent to 1,703.23 at 9:49 a.m. Positive Comments We had very positive comments from the Senate leaders, and if you take those comments at face value, a deal looks fairly imminent, Otto Waser, chief investment officer at R&A Research & Asset Management AG in Zurich, said by telephone today. The market is back to the levels it was at before the entire crisis talks started. Reid and McConnell, veteran Senate deal makers, are brokering the agreement, reached during conversations that started over the weekend. Democrats want as long a debt-limit increase as possible and as short a government funding extension at Republican-preferred levels. Republicans want the opposite. Possible sticking points late yesterday included whether Democrats would agree to Republican demands that the Treasury Department be barred from using so-called extraordinary measures to extend the debt-limit deadline after Feb.

Hitting the debt ceiling would be terrible even if we didn’t default

The debt ceiling is a cap on the amount of total debt the U.S. government can incur to pay the countrys bills. Before the 20th century, there was no ceiling on the total amount of debt. Instead, Congress set limits on the amount of debt the Treasury could borrow for discrete purposes: a war or a public-works project. Congress also set limits on the kinds of debt the Treasury could issue for any given purpose (for example, short-term borrowing versus long-term bonds). Whenever the Treasury exceeded the statutory limit for borrowing connected to specific spending, Congress had to vote to raise the limit. As government grew and became more complicated, the bond issues multiplied, and the votes became more frequent and nettlesome. The ad-hoc approach to debt was, in many peoples eyes, becoming impractical. Reforms came in two stages. The first arose from the need for wartime financing during the Spanish-American War of 1898 and World War I. In both conflicts, Congress granted the Treasury increased autonomy in how it financed any borrowing sanctioned by Congress. But this legislation — most notably the Second Liberty Bond Act of 1917 — kept the older practice of individual limits on debt in place. In the 1930s, Congress amended the Second Liberty Bond Act and introduced the modern debt ceiling. The retooled law made all federal debt subject to a ceiling on the total amount of outstanding bonds. The legislation thus put a limit on the aggregate debt, which Congress capped in 1939 at $45 billion (it is now more than $16 trillion). This shift, the Congressional Research Service has noted , underlined Treasury bonds role as a means of managing federal finances rather than securities tied to specific projects or wars. Although the new overarching debt ceiling put an end to Congress’s micromanagement, it also had the effect of turning the decision on raising the debt into a single up or down vote that could bring the nations financial stability crashing down. Because votes for or against raising limits on debts were no longer coupled to a specific project or undertaking of the government, they could easily be painted as verdicts on federal spending generally. It didn’t take long for fiscal hawks to turn the debt ceiling into a political football. During World War II, Republicans unhappy with ill-spent funds resisted raising the debt ceiling as high as Franklin Roosevelt’s administration requested. In 1944, Representative Harold Knutson of the House Ways and Means Committee declared that” even if we would set the limit at $500,000,000,000 the Roosevelt administration would reach it if given a little time. Its up to us to see that the Administration is not given any more than is absolutely necessary. We dont want a ceiling that known spenders can shoot at. But it was a Democrat, not a Republican, who did more than anyone else to turn the routine vote over the debt ceiling into a referendum on runaway government spending. This was Senator Harry F. Byrd of Virginia (no relation to longtime Senator Robert Byrd of West Virginia). Byrd was a kingmaker in Virginia politics, an ardent segregationist and a fiscal hawk who, the Washington Post noted in the 1960s, has been a hair shirt for four Presidents. Beginning in the late 1940s and 1950s, Byrd and his allies among both Democrats and Republicans fought a long-running and remarkably successful campaign to restrict increases in the total federal debt. Byrd targeted the administrations of Presidents Harry Truman and Dwight Eisenhower, repeatedly extracting token reductions in the debt ceiling, or frustrating attempts to increase it. Byrd described these efforts as part of a larger campaign to force the country onto a pay-as-we-go basis. His most notable victory occurred in 1953, when Eisenhower pushed Congress to raise the debt ceiling to $290 million from $275 million. Byrd quashed the vote, betting that Eisenhower would find a way to stay within the limit. He did, though as the historian Joseph Thorndike has observed , this meant liquidating some of the nations gold reserves to retire outstanding debt. Emboldened, Byrd fought a running battle against futures increases. The struggle is not over, wrote one newspaper of Byrds campaign. Senator Byrd has determined to make it an annual affair. While he occasionally agreed to increases of the debt ceiling, Byrd typically made them temporary, forcing Congress to revisit the issue again and again. I dont intend to give them $1 more than is necessary to get by, Byrd declared in 1955. I am opposed to any permanent increase. On the surface, Byrds tactics seem a harbinger of the Tea Partys maneuvers over the debt ceiling. That analysis misses the big picture. Byrd was leading a bipartisan force, not an extremist wing of a single party. And while Byrd was more than happy to play politics with the debt ceiling, he wasnt inclined to turning votes into a doomsday machine. When the Washington Post interviewed him in 1963, shortly before he retired, Byrd was roughing up another president over the debt ceiling. The newspaper predicted choppy waters for President John F. Kennedy, but it noted that Byrd knows his own conscience wont let him stop some increase in the debt limit because the Government couldnt pay its bill without it. For Byrd, default was unthinkable. He never came close to allowing it. That’s a lesson the Tea Party would be wise to heed. (Stephen Mihm, an associate professor of history at the University of Georgia, is a contributor to the Ticker . Follow him on Twitter .)

When Debt-Ceiling Politics Was Bipartisan

Treasury could accrue back in 1917. J. Scott Applewhite/AP Congress set a limit on how much debt the U.S. Treasury could accrue back in 1917. J. Scott Applewhite/AP Political battles over the debt limit have been around nearly as long as the law passed by Congress in 1917 that set a statutory limit for how much debt the Treasury could accrue. Since then, Congress has had to increase that limit on more than 100 occasions and 40 of those times, lawmakers have tried to tie strings to raising the debt ceiling. In the last few years, though, there’s been a marked escalation in those demands. When Treasury Secretary Jack Lew went before the Senate Finance Committee late last week, he put President Obama’s Republican adversaries on notice: “We cannot have the debt limit be something that’s a threat to the economy unless policy concessions are made that’s not how our democratic system works. A minority can’t do that.” Oh, yes, it can, countered Mitch McConnell, the leader of the Senate’s GOP minority. On the Senate floor, McConnell said Obama’s refusal to make concessions in this standoff breaks with tradition. “It’s not the way presidents of both parties have dealt with this problem in the past,” he said. “Reagan negotiated. Clinton negotiated. And if President Obama wants America to increase the credit limit, he’ll negotiate, too.” In fact, Obama tried to negotiate with House Speaker John Boehner in the summer of 2011 to raise the debt ceiling . The president’s lingering exasperation with that episode in many ways echoes one of his Republican predecessors. In a 1987 White House radio address, President Ronald Reagan complained about a debt-ceiling deal that congressional Democrats had just muscled through. Related NPR Stories Treasury Secretary: Debt Default Would Have Dire Consequences “Congress consistently brings the government to the edge http://www.debtconsolidationloanswiz.com/ of default before facing its responsibility,” Reagan said. “This brinkmanship threatens the holders of government bonds and those who rely on Social Security and veteran benefits.” But economist Alice Rivlin, a veteran of some of those earlier debt-ceiling battles, says they were tame compared to what’s going on now. “The mood is very different, the depth of the antagonism is very different and the risk-taking is different,” she says. Rivlin was White House budget director during the Clinton administration, a time she says when there was no talk of defaulting on the debt. “Nobody thought in the ’90s that we would breach the debt ceiling,” she said. “There were attempts to attach things, but it was really much more symbolic than real.” Early in 2006, as the Iraq War raged, a Republican-led Senate voted on raising the debt ceiling, and along with every other Democrat, then-Sen. Barack Obama voted no. The only thing attached to that measure was the Democrats’ disapproval. Five years later, as president, Obama told ABC that no vote was a mistake. “As president, you start realizing, ‘You know what? We can’t play around with this stuff. This is the full faith and credit of the United States,’ ” he said. “And so that was just a example of a new senator, you know, making what is a political vote as opposed to doing what was important for the country. And I’m the first one to acknowledge it.” Obama recently told reporters that by raising the debt ceiling, Congress is simply allowing financing for spending it has already approved. But it’s still a tough vote. Allen Schick, a congressional budget expert at the University of Maryland, says it has always been a challenge for either party to round up enough votes to boost the debt limit which is why Congress found various ways over the past quarter century to avoid holding actual votes on raising the debt ceiling. “The issue then was really different than it is now,” he says. “Then it was an issue ‘We’re short of votes.’ Now there’s an issue of demands made by the two parties which are not acceptable to one another.” Rep. Peter Welch, a Vermont Democrat, says the debt ceiling has simply become an opportunity for Congress to make mischief. “It’s a nuclear-tipped leverage point,” he says. “And this year, of course, the Tea Party folks are using it. But if this becomes a legitimate tactic, you might find a Democratic faction three or four years from now saying they want to use it. My view: We should disarm.” Welch co-sponsored a bill this year to abolish the debt ceiling. So far it’s gone nowhere.