21 Apr 2023

Houston we have a problem...

While equity markets seem complacent about the imminent debt ceiling crisis, the same can not be said of the rates market, where the "kink" in T-bills maturing around the X-date is turning spectacular... Bottom-line: The spread between 3-month (5.12%) and 1-month (3.40%) Treasury yields has never been higher: 1.72%. Indeed, the yield on US T-Bill which mature BEFORE June is much lower than it should be given the current level of the Fed Funds rate: below 4% vs. a Fed Funds rate already close to 5%. This premium is probably related to the fact that, for T-Bill maturing before the end of May, there is no uncertainty related to the debt ceiling, since the US Treasury will have the cash needed to meet principal redemptions. But from June onwards, the risk of the debt ceiling being hit increases; this triggers a jump in yield with T-bill yielding roughly the same than Fed Funds. Source chart: Charlie Bilello


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