Today, the yield on the 30-year Treasury bond is 3.2 percent. The yield on the 10-year Treasury note is 2.05 percent, less than half its 20-year average of 4.7 percent. It could be years before rates even return to that average level.

Of course, interest rates could jump on fears of higher inflation. But inflation has been 1.6 percent the past year, below the Federal Reserve's 2 percent target. What's more, the Fed has promised to keep the benchmark rate it controls near zero until unemployment falls to 6.5 percent. Unemployment today is 7.7 percent.

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You can reach Bernard Condon on Twitter at http://twitter.com/BernardFCondon.

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