Is the 30 year Bond Bull Market Over?

Bond-Market Bears Are Everywhere
A lot of people seem to think the bull run is over.
Bloomberg, April 26, 2018

 

 

Earlier this week, I posted this poll on Twitter:
 

 
The results surprised me, mainly because they were closer than I had expected. Despite the flirtation of 3 percent yields on the 10-year Treasury bond, many folks don’t believe the multi-decade run of lower interest rates has ended. 1

Some of the commentary I have seen focuses on rising yields, but there’s more, most notably:
  1. Fixed-income investors want higher yields;
  2. Bonds offset equity volatility in a portfolio;
  3. Treasuries behave very differently from stocks;
  4. Interest rates reflect the state of the economy;
  5. Yield-curve inversions have been greatly exaggerated.

Let’s consider what each means:

No. 1: Yield. Buyers of Treasury bonds typically expect to receive a return on their capital in excess of inflation. (If they want capital gains from bonds, they should speak to someone like Howard Marks of Oaktree Capital Group about buying distressed fixed-income assets.) How they position themselves in the rising rate environment will determine how successful they will be…

As the Federal Reserve raises rates, the short end of the yield curve has risen, as one would expect. The long end of the yield curve has risen as well, perhaps on expectations of faster inflation. My question is: What will the real, inflation-adjusted yield of Treasuries be once the monetary tightening cycle is done? Will Treasuries offer protection from the loss of future purchasing power? The answer depends on so many factors that making accurate forecasts is basically impossible.

Those who have been complaining about low yields and financial repression need to find something new to whine about.

 

 

Continues at Bond-Market Bears Are Everywhere

 


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