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AGF Management : Running Out of Time as the Debt Ceiling Looms

06/21/2021 | 02:09am EDT

Insights and Market Perspectives

Author: 8

June 21, 2021

Running Out of Time as the Debt Ceiling Looms
June 21, 2021
THE GLACIAL PACE OF NEGOTIATIONS on an infrastructure deal is creating a logjam as Congress faces budget deadlines - including the expiration on July 31 of the debt ceiling, which the markets will have to watch.

MORE TALKS ON INFRASTRUCTURE are scheduled for this week, with President Biden facing a dilemma: should he accept a $1 trillion deal that probably could get through Congress by the end of July, or should he hold out for something far more expensive that could stall?

BIDEN KNOWS THE DEMOCRATS' progressives want a huge bill, but it would encounter a Republican filibuster. So once again the focus is on the key Democrat, moderate Sen. Joe Manchin, who might waver on his opposition to filibuster reform. Manchin told the Washington Post this weekend that he might favor a 55 vote threshold, not the present 60 votes needed to break a filibuster.

THAT COULD MOVE THE NEEDLE on a $1 trillion bill, which the Democrats could reluctantly accept - and then they would push for an expensive social spending measure and tax hikes through the controversial reconciliation process, which requires only 51 votes.

THIS TORTUOUS AND MIND-NUMBING path could take several weeks, yet Congress is scheduled to leave town for about six weeks, starting in early August. The lack of time will become a major theme - the debt ceiling expires on July 31, with both parties fiercely dug in over what might be attached to an extension.

REPUBLICANS VIEW THE DEBT CEILING FIGHT as an opportunity to demand deep spending reductions, but precisely what they would cut is unclear. The GOP will blast runaway spending, while Democrats will claim Republicans would risk shutting down the government and defaulting on debt.

IN THE FINAL ANALYSIS, the debt ceiling will get raised; it always does at the last
minute. And more spending will be approved just before the fiscal year
ends on Sept. 1, with an extension probably lasting until the holidays, as usual.

TAG - YOU'RE IT: Every president in recent decades has faced a fight from the
opposing party on extending the debt ceiling; it's a time-consuming and petty fight,
designed to scare voters. And just to complicate matters, a hike of the debt ceiling
can be subjected to - you guessed it - a filibuster.

WITH TREASURY BOND YIELDS CONTINUING TO FALL THIS MORNING, a fight over debt levels isn't a big concern for the fixed income markets. But this dispute could become an irritant by fall; Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen might have only a couple of months to keep the government running past the July 31 deadline.

THE BIG CASUALTY of a debt ceiling fight could be Biden's agenda, which might bog down. He may have to settle for a modest infrastructure bill - or a fight dragging well into the fall.

The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily represent the opinions of AGF, its subsidiaries or any of its affiliated companies, funds or investment strategies.

The views expressed in this blog are provided as a general source of information based on information available as of the date of publication and should not be considered as personal investment advice or an offer or solicitation to buy and/or sell securities. Speculation or stated believes about future events, such as market or economic conditions, company or security performance, or other projections represent the beliefs of the author and do not necessarily represent the view of AGF, its subsidiaries or any of its affiliated companies, funds or investment strategies. Every effort has been made to ensure accuracy in these commentaries at the time of publication; however, accuracy cannot be guaranteed. Market conditions may change and AGF accepts no responsibility for individual investment decisions arising from the use of or reliance on the information contained herein. Any financial projections are based on the opinions of the author and should not be considered as a forecast. The forward looking statements and opinions may be affected by changing economic circumstances and are subject to a number of uncertainties that may cause actual results to differ materially from those contemplated in the forward looking statements. The information contained in this commentary is designed to provide you with general information related to the political and economic environment in the United States. It is not intended to be comprehensive investment advice applicable to the circumstances of the individual.

AGF Investments is a group of wholly owned subsidiaries of AGF Management Limited, a Canadian reporting issuer. The subsidiaries included in AGF Investments are AGF Investments Inc. (AGFI), AGF Investments America Inc. (AGFA), AGF Investments LLC (AGFUS) and AGF International Advisors Company Limited (AGFIA). AGFA and AGFUS are registered advisors in the U.S. AGFI is a registered as a portfolio manager across Canadian securities commissions. AGFIA is regulated by the Central Bank of Ireland and registered with the Australian Securities & Investments Commission. The subsidiaries that form AGF Investments manage a variety of mandates comprised of equity, fixed income and balanced assets.

Founded in 1957, AGF Management Limited (AGF) is an independent and globally diverse asset management firm. AGF brings a disciplined approach to delivering excellence in investment management through its fundamental, quantitative, alternative and high-net-worth businesses focused on providing an exceptional client experience. AGF's suite of investment solutions extends globally to a wide range of clients, from financial advisors and individual investors to institutional investors including pension plans, corporate plans, sovereign wealth funds and endowments and foundations.

For further information, please visit AGF.com.

©2021 AGF Management Limited. All rights reserved.


AGF Management Limited published this content on 21 June 2021 and is solely responsible for the information contained therein. Distributed by Public, unedited and unaltered, on 21 June 2021 06:08:04 UTC.

© Publicnow 2021
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