According to the Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget the federal deficit is projected to roughly double this year, as bigger interest payments and lower tax receipts widen the nation’s spending imbalance despite robust overall economic growth. After the government’s record spending in 2020 and 2021 to combat the impact of covid-19, the deficit dropped by the greatest amount ever in 2022, falling from close to $3 trillion to roughly $1 trillion. But rather than continue to fall to its pre-pandemic levels, the deficit then shot upward. Budget experts now project that it will probably rise to about $2 trillion for the fiscal year that ends Sept. 30. Jason Furman said the current jump in the deficit is only surpassed by “major crises,” such as World War II, the 2008 financial meltdown or the coronavirus pandemic.
- Date Posted:
- September 1, 2023
[Short-term interest rates] are not “market-determined” in any normal sense, but chosen at the discretion of the ~18 members of the FOMC. Longer-term interest rates are not explicitly set by the Fed, but Fed officials try to make those rates go up or down when they think it is necessary to achieve their policy objectives, sometimes by buying or selling bonds outright. If the point of maintaining “market functioning” is to prevent spikes in yields that could hurt borrowers in the real economy while facilitating transactions of bonds for cash, central banks are already better-positioned to do those trades directly than anyone else. What would be the point of involving intermediaries, except to pay them for a service that could be provided in-house? This is effectively what the BOJ has been doing for years, laying out target ranges for yields at points on the curve, adjusting those ranges as needed, sometimes buying oodles of Japanese Government Bonds (JGBs), and often doing nothing.