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How long can the government continue to extend & pretend? How long can public policy endlessly ‘kick-the-can’ down the road without addressing the underlying causes? Such a critical point is often academically referred to as a ‘Tipping Point’ or what newsletter writer John Mauldin refers to as a ‘Finger of Instability’. I am more pragmatic and as an investor, who is forced to call the timing, I refer to it as the Maturity Wall
What has surprisingly received little media attention is that the US Government has been steadily reducing the maturity of its treasury portfolio to keep fiscal deficits down. Whether interest rates rise or it becomes a problem for the US Treasury to re-fund the ever expanding roll-over pools, both suggest a Maturity Wall is dead ahead. It will occur no later than 2012, but it will likely be triggered with the next financial default scare.