Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Geitner Raids U.S. Pension Piggy Bank

The cookie jar was empty
In an effort to (sort of) respect the U.S. government (apparently flexible) debt ceiling (actually breached back on January 5th), Treasury Secretary Timothy Geitner yesterday suspended contributions to the U.S. Government Employees Pension Fund.  Sort of like you or I deciding that the line of credit on our house is tapped out, so we'll just dip into the kids' education funds.  The market, of course, took immediate notice and sold off violently before recovering slightly at the close - otherwise your humble scribe admittedly might not have noticed.  Not to worry, says Timmy.  Geitner advises everyone that fund participants will not notice a thing.  Very reassuring, I'm sure, if you are a U.S. government employee.  And why did he choose the piggy bank now?  It's not only because the cookie jar is empty, the sock in the top drawer was cleaned out long ago, and there's nothing under the mattress (except that ubiquitous American handgun).  No, it's to crank up the pressure on Congress, of course - to raise the debt ceiling again.  (Recall from the recent video series reproduced in this space that the Treasury Secretary is, after all, the most powerful man in the U.S. government - and probably the world.)  Here we go again, Mr. Market!