The Treasury has an open data platform where they publish all of the data related to the US Treasury. This includes debt, spending, revenue, etc. Different data sets are updated at different frequencies. The official US Debt is updated monthly (typically by the fourth business day). This data can be seen in the chart below.
While the US government is not currently adding to the national debt due to being up against the debt ceiling, it is working overtime trying to keep the government afloat.
Significantly, the interest on the national debt is skyrocketing even with the temporary lull in borrowing.
Despite hitting the debt ceiling, the US Treasury managed to add $35 billion in new debt during January.
The Treasury has employed extraordinary measures, including exchanging Non-Marketable (e.g., Government employee retirement funds) and other forms of debt for short-term Bills. The balance on Bills grew by $241 billion which was the largest single-month growth since at least January 2021.
The US government has once again run up against the debt ceiling. Meanwhile, interest payments on the debt keep growing.
The Treasury only added $6B of debt in December, allowing short-term debt to mature and replacing it with longer-term debt. This makes sense as long-term rates are below short-term rates with the inverted yield curve.
The Treasury added $175B in new debt during November, hitting the debt ceiling of $31.4T. New debt issuance was focused on the short end of the curve with $145B in Treasury Bills issued.
Over the last 18 months, the Treasury has aggressively converted short-term debt to longer-term debt. This can be seen in the chart below with the turquoise bars being negative.
The Fed has talked a big game lately. Many people (including me) assumed the Fed would fold a long time ago. There is a very good reason — the Fed will crush the economy and the US Treasury with higher interest rates.
In reality, the Fed is holding a losing hand and trying to bluff its way to victory.
The Treasury increased the total debt by $27B in June. Activity slowed in the latest month across all instruments, but particularly the conversion of short-term to long-term. After massive moves to extend debt maturity and shrink short-term debt by $530B over 4 months (shown below by the large negative turquoise bars), July went very quiet.
The Treasury reduced the total debt by $27B in April. This is not atypical since Tax Day falls in April. In April 2016 and 2018, the debt shrunk $78B and $21B respectively. April 2017 and 2019 were both flat due to a debt ceiling saga. 2020 and 2021 were exceptions because the tax deadline was extended.
While on the surface, it appears the Federal Reserve asset purchase taper has started, it’s not as easy to prove when you dig into the details.
The Fed is certainly not being as aggressive as they promised, and for good reason. As the Fed leaves the bond market, who will fill the gap? Since 2019, the Fed has quadrupled the Treasury purchases of international holders and has been one of the biggest players in the Treasury market.