Washington Will Act, Eventually?

Apr 21 2011 @ 9:52am

Ryan Avent is betting that DC will address the debt before all hell breaks loose:

Some writers worry that views of American creditworthiness may turn on a dime, such that there will be no time to act between the moment when yields begin rising and the moment they hit unsustainable levels. That's not impossible, but it does seem highly unlikely. American yields didn't soar overnight in the early 1990s, and Greek yields crept up for months before spiking last April.

The existence of a broad array of parties interested in an orderly American budget fix makes it likely that parties would intervene to slow rising American yields if they did spike rapidly, in order to buy Congress time to take action. But I find it hard to imagine things progressing that far. Whenever Treasury yields climb the least bit, even if its only from epically low levels to abnormally low levels, pundits and politicians begin squawking and demanding immediate budget steps. And indeed, these squawking pundits have been quite effective; it's striking how much attention is being paid to deficit issues rather than, say, unemployment. If the 10-year returned to its 2007 level, all hell would break loose in Washington, even though the yield in 2007 was really unusually low.