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The Treasury Department on Wednesday said it will raise a record $75 billion in a series of auctions next week to help deal with the government's soaring debt.
The $75 billion surpasses the $71 billion record set in the prior three-month period. It is part of total
borrowing needs for the July-September quarter that the government estimates will hit $406 billion.
The projected borrowing, while significant, is below the record $530 billion it borrowed in the same period in 2008.
The department also said it expects to issue Treasury inflation-indexed securities, or TIPS, more frequently next year and "will consider replacing 20-year TIPS with 30-year TIPS." Any changes to that program will be announced in November.
The upcoming quarterly refunding will include auctions of $37 billion in three-year notes, $23 billion in 10-year notes and $15 billion in 30-year bonds.
Treasury also said the government will hit the current debt limit of $12.1 trillion in the fourth quarter. While its existing suite of securities "is sufficient to address our borrowing needs; market participants should expect auction sizes to continue to rise in a gradual manner over the medium term."
Treasury already this year has tripled the frequency of auctions for 30-year bonds to 12 times annually from four.
The huge amounts of borrowing reflect the government's soaring budget deficits, which are being driven by the costs of financing the $700 billion financial rescue program and the impact of longest recession since World War II. Increased spending from the Obama administration's $787 billion stimulus package and lower tax receipts will drive borrowing in the near future, Treasury said.
The economic slump has cut sharply into tax revenue and boosted government spending for benefit programs such as unemployment insurance and food stamps.
Treasury also said earlier this week that it borrowed $343 billion in the April-June quarter, less than the $361 billion it projected in April but still a record for that period.
The improvements - at least compared with last year's record levels - are due to several factors, including the repayment of $70 billion in June by 10 large banks and a number of smaller ones as part of the federal bailout program.
Treasury also said it expects to borrow $486 billion in the October-December quarter, down from a record $569 billion in the same period last year.
The White House projects the deficit will hit $1.85 trillion for the budget year ending Sept. 30, a record that would quadruple last year's all-time high gap of $455 billion.
This program aired on August 5, 2009. The audio for this program is not available.
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