Debt ceiling negotiations will resume on Tuesday which supports gold prices

Debt ceiling negotiations will resume on Tuesday which supports gold prices

A second debt limit meeting between President Joe Biden and Senate majority leader McCarthy and other top congressional leaders will be held tomorrow, Tuesday, May 16. The divide between both sides was too wide for any progress to result from their first meeting. Staff on both sides negotiated through back channels to find common ground and potential compromises over the weekend.

The probability that tomorrow’s talks will yield any progress is remote, and the number of days remaining before June 1st is dwindling. Add to that the president's schedule this month, traveling to Japan from May 19 – 21, and Australia 22 – 24.

President Biden said, “I remain optimistic because I am a congenital optimist, and I think we’ll be able to do it.” on Sunday. However, McCarthy still is steadfast in that he wants to attach spending reductions to a debt ceiling increase. While President Biden still insists that he will not negotiate over the debt limit, calling on Congress to pass a clean increase before addressing budget reductions.

According to the Financial Post today, “In her second letter to Congress in two weeks, Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen confirmed that the agency will be unlikely to meet all U.S. government payment obligations by early June, triggering the first-ever U.S. default. The debt ceiling could become binding by June 1, she said.”

A US debt default would greatly hinder the ability of the Federal Reserve to set short-term interest rates. Reuters today reported that “A default on U.S. Treasury debt would be a leap into the unknown for the Federal Reserve's ability to conduct monetary policy to achieve its job and inflation goals. That's because U.S. government bonds are the key to how the central bank sets its short-term interest rate target. Anything that gums up the Treasuries market could scramble those mechanics.”

The debt ceiling crisis and potential default continue to be highly supportive of gold prices keeping gold above $2000 an ounce. As of 5:14 PM EDT, gold futures basis the most active June contract are currently fixed at $2020.40 after factoring in today’s fractional gains of $1.60. The U.S. dollar index is fixed at 102.27, after factoring in a decline today of 0.23%.

Gary S. Wagner

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Tim Moseley

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