Not So Bad

U.S. May Pay Bills Until Aug. 10

It looks like the U.S. has a rainy day fund after all. Even if the U.S. government does not come to an agreement on the debt ceiling by Aug 2 and defaults, there will be enough money to pay the bills until Aug. 10. President Obama has insisted Aug. 2 is a “hard deadline” and the U.S. will no longer be able to cut Social Security checks if it cannot borrow more money. But some analysts say the analogy is more like this: The government will max out its credit card on Aug. 2, but it will have enough cash in its wallet to last until Aug. 10. But all told, the government plans to borrow some $500 billion in August, and if interest rates are raised by a tenth of a percentage point because of a credit-rating downgrade, the annual cost would rise by $500 million.