US Gov't Bonds Yield More Than Developed Countries For 1st Time in Two Decades

Mish

US Treasury yields are rip-roaring vs other developed countries. The bet is on inflation.

Which is it: Faster growth or higher inflation?

That's the question people are asking as US Government Bonds Pay More Than Debt From Other Developed Nations.

Analysts said the rise in yields in part reflects optimism about the U.S. economy and expectations for a pickup in inflation, which threatens the value of government bonds by eroding the purchasing power of their fixed payments. A market-based measure of expectations for annual inflation over the next 10 years, known as the break-even rate, recently reached its highest levels since 2014.

“The U.S. has the highest rates of everyone in the G-10 and it looks like the rate differential will continue to widen,” said Chris Gaffney, president of EverBank World Markets. “The U.S. seems to be going it alone in this rising interest-rate path.”

At the same time, economic data throughout much of the world has failed to meet expectations, eroding support for bets that the euro, yen and other currencies would rise versus the dollar. While investors speculate about the Fed increasing its pace of monetary tightening, they have also reduced their expectations for tighter monetary policies in Australia, Canada, the U.K., Japan, the euro-zone and other economies.

Higher Treasury yields are pushing investors back to the dollar, after they crowded into bets that the euro would rise versus the U.S. currency. As economic data has weakened in Europe, pushing yields down even as monetary policy remains accommodative, signs of employment and inflation growth U.S. have persisted, lifting Treasury yields higher. That shift has squeezed some investors, leading many to exit the trade.

Investors say they are also looking at the yield differential because the gap has made it increasingly expensive for money managers in Europe and Asia to buy U.S. government and corporate bonds. Those investors are increasingly looking instead to buy debt in Europe, where hedging costs are not a problem. This dynamic could make borrowing more expensive for U.S. consumers and businesses, and act as a check on growth.

2007 Decoupling Theory in Reverse

This reminds me of the widespread decoupling theory of 2007, except in reverse.

The idea then was the US was headed for the gutter and the rest of the world was about to lift off, led by China.

Today, analysts have latched on to the equally preposterous idea that the US can avoid a slowdown in China, Europe, and the the rest of the world.

Get a Grip on Reality!

Start with Reflections on Late-Stage Inflation.

Also consider Earnings Estimates: Yardeni Asks "What are Analysts Smoking"?

Mike "Mish" Shedlock

Comments (15)
No. 1-15
truthseeker
truthseeker

Mish I haven’t checked the news today so what is going on in the overseas markets with both US stocks and bonds shooting way up? Is it related to the Russia upgrade or some story about previous administration lawless attacks on the Trump presidency or just another fake news event?

truthseeker
truthseeker

Drudge Report’s America China trade war over?

Advancingtime
Advancingtime

The global slowdown combined with rising interest rates in the U.S. and the Fed’s QT (quantitative tightening) has resulted in emerging markets beginning to lose their lifeline of inflows. This could lead to a large shift in the value of many currencies. More on what to expect in the article below.

http://Stronger Dollar Is Problem For Global growth.html

Advancingtime
Advancingtime

Non working link above, sorry.

KidHorn
KidHorn

My 2 cents is the FED is raising rates in an attempt to bail out pensions or at least ease the insolvency of them. Higher yields are attracting foreign investment, which is driving up USD. It's all transitory. Can't continue without destroying the economy and equity markets.

Curious-Cat
Curious-Cat

My two cents? It will "destroy the economy and equity markets" because of the enormous level of household, business and governmental debt, much of which gets rolled over on a short term basis. Not to mention the number of zombie companies who are staying alive on borrowed money. What happens to the household debt when the employment rates start to go the other way? What about the high level of defaults for the small bank credit card debt? What about the level of high risk auto loans? Do you actually read any of these posts?

CautiousObserver
CautiousObserver

It is the relative percentage increase in rates that matters and not the absolute level of rate increase.

Financing ROI of 4% is financially doable when one can borrow at 2% and never extinguish the principal. That investment looks even better when one can keep rolling over the principal at ever decreasing rates. Unfortunately, if the Fed increases rates by 200 basis points from that level, the monthly payment for debt service doubles. Typically that’s when the whole thing blows up and leaves a smoking hole in someone’s balance sheet.

El_Tedo
El_Tedo

Yeah, I do read these posts and the years of wrong predictions. Of course someday the economy will have another recession, but the economy is improving, regardless of of whether that fits you narrative or not. I would like for just one of you Hussman-types to give us a date in the future (give yourselves plenty of slack), when we can finally say you were wrong and you being willing to admit you were wrong.

Blacklisted
Blacklisted

It's all relative. The rest of the world is worse off, so where else does the $80 trillion in global investment park for safety, especially when the govt bond bubble is close to popping? This size does not park in gold or under a mattress. As the public to private transition picks up speed with the collapse of socialism, the new saying will be "gentlemen prefer stocks".

CautiousObserver
CautiousObserver

It looks to me like this is a credit fueled expansion cycle similar to and bigger than the prior recent cycles. Anyone can give credit away such that borrowers will bid up asset prices with other people’s money in the short term. The problem is the policy is not stable. The Fed’s latest theory appears to be, if they tighten s-l-o-w-l-y enough, then the economy will have time to adjust to increasing credit costs without excess leverage and mal-investment causing an uncontrolled credit collapse. Looking at a charted history of Fed tightening cycles, they are running this one up roughly half as fast.

Maybe it will work, but I doubt it. The reason I doubt it is, for the Fed to be successful, underlying cash flows must increase on a percentage basis at least as quickly as the Fed tightens. From December 2015 to March 2018, the Fed increased the Federal Funds Rate from 0.25% to 1.75% and prime rate increased from 3.25% to 4.75% (prime rate increased 46%). Did cash flows on financed projects improve 50% during the last 30 months? Will cash flows have improved to 160% of 2016 levels after the Fed hikes two more times this year? I expect not. Then there is the issue of people doing cash-out refi’s to support their lifestyle as housing prices enter a credit fueled bubble. That credit was consumed. It is gone.

Want a padded prediction about when the wheels come off? The Fed’s last hike in the prior cycle was June, 2006. Houses stopped selling that summer (I remember because I sold my house one month before everything stopped). I expect something similar this time. Certain segments of the economy will be looking spongy when the Fed stops hiking. Problems will be apparent to everyone 24-30 months after that. Until then, it is a game of musical chairs.

Tengen
Tengen

I know there's already a pile on El_Tedo, but it's a simple concept that between our many trillions of public debt and massive household debt, normalizing interest rates (say 5-6%) would make servicing all that debt unbearable.

We have intentionally created a series of enormous bubbles with easy money and at some point we must pay the piper. How this situation translates into "the economy is improving" is anyone's guess.

TheLege
TheLege

"Gentlemen prefer stocks". The idea that funds must go "somewhere" when they leave a certain locale in the financial markets is a common mis-conception and one that leads people to arrive at conclusions like yours -- the financial media makes this mistake all the time. The reality is that most of the 'funds looking for a home' that you refer to are not real savings -- they have been borrowed into existence -- which means, in a crisis, they actually start to disappear (from whence they came). It's commonly known as deleveraging. As a VERY rough idea, money substitutes represent around 80% of the overall money supply, the point being that scope for deleveraging is pretty substantial. Between you and me that is not positive for ANY risk assets, except perhaps gold which typically outperforms as the gold market anticipates central bank money pumping to 'fill' the deleveraging gap.


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