Here's Why Bonds Matter on Election Day
A Mitt Romney victory, on the other hand, would leave investors with a lot of questions.
Romney has said he would remove Bernanke as Fed chairman if he wins the presidency. The former Massachusetts governor has also expressed a lack of enthusiasm for monetary stimulus, so the fate of quantitative easing would be left in doubt.
In addition, Romney has promised to rein in spending, and his policies have seemed to favor less central banking activity and less bond buying, which could begin to boost the yield in treasuries and eventually lead investors back into higher quality credit treasury bonds. Analysts aren't sure how long, though, a massive move like this would take.
Municipal bonds are another beast for investors to consider.Right now, the ultra-appealing, tax-exempt munis are a safe haven for many investors, but negotiations about the fiscal cliff could bring about broad-based tax reform. If Congress decides that it wants to eliminate the tax exemption on munis, investors would have far less incentive to invest in these bonds. If Congress doesn't lift the tax exemption, or, say, politicians decide to allow for some exemptions to remain in place it could become an even more appealing investment if income taxes increase -- a case that one analyst said could happen under Obama. "If Obama gets reelected and the Bush tax cuts expire for the top wage earners then you're going to have top tax rates go higher, so higher income taxes are obviously a positive for the tax exempt market," said Susan Courtney, head of the Prudential fixed income's municipal bond team. She also added that, if Congress decides to eliminate tax exemption on munis, another big question would be would some bonds would be grandfathered in for the exemption. If so, lawmakers would have to determine a date for which bonds would be tax exempt and which bonds would not. In that case, the tax-exempt munis would become much more valuable to investors. -- Written by Joe Deaux in New York. >Contact by Email. Follow @JoeDeaux
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