Today, White House spokesman Jay Carney held a press conference to re-emphasize the urgency of the current impasse over the debt ceiling. "The United States hit its debt limit in May, and since May the Treasury Secretary ... has exercised all the wiggle room available to him and that runs out on August 2nd," Carney said. "That's not a guess. That's not a political opinion. It is the judgment of career analysts at the Treasury Department." You'd think a fact as important as the date at which the United States defaults would be pretty well established by now (ahem, August 2 is next week). But a number of presumably apolitical bank analysts have come out of the woodwork to challenge that assertion, raising doubts about how hard the deadline is and, as an indirect result, making it easier for the two parties to delay a compromise. Here are those analysts:
Stone & McCarthy Research Associates This afternoon, these analysts told USA Today the firm "estimates Treasury will be able to meet its obligations until Aug. 15, possibly longer." The prediction comes from "recent tax receipt data" suggesting the government has more money than it says it has.
Wells Fargo Analysts here told The Washington Post that "the government might have to cut back on some spending but could pay most of its bill through August."