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Retired chief investment officer and former NYSE firm partner with 50 plus years experience in field as analyst / economist, portfolio manager / trader, and CIO who has superb track record with multi $billion equities and fixed income portfolios. Advanced degrees, CFA. Having done much professional writing as a young guy, I now have a cryptic style. 40 years down on and around The Street confirms: CAVEAT EMPTOR IN SPADES !!!

Thursday, December 25, 2014

Long Treasury Bond Yield

The long bond yield  has been in a steep downtrend since the early 1980s. When you roll in price
appreciation with interest earned (including of course the interest earned on coupon re-
investment), It has been one hell of a bull market. Noteworthy here is that there exists a five year
base under the yield downtrend at the 2.5 - 2.6 % area. The long T has approached this base
recently on a strong downtrend in yield from the outset of 2014.

Despite economic recovery in place since 2009, the yield has remained in a somewhat volatile
down trail primarily reflecting the deceleration of the inflation rate in the US since latter 2011,
and the Fed's policy of keeping short term interest rates near zero. Obviously, the large T-bond
purchases involved through the three QE programs have helped. TYX Weekly

We approach 2015 as follows. Inflation is still in a downtrend underscored by weak oil, sensitive
material and commodities prices. The Fed is maintaining its ZIRP on short rates for now, but
could elect to abandon ZIRP later in the year if the economy expands firmly and more dissention
flares up among members of the FOMC. The QE programs have ended although the Fed is still
committed to buying securities equal in value to those that run off.

With total financial system liquidity growth having rolled over on y/y % basis, it is reasonable
to assume the economy will lose significant growth momentum at some point soon, unless
confidence remains high and credit flows to the private sector move as needed. In that latter
case, the Fed will likely respond by aborting ZIRP and starting to raise the Fed funds rate.
That would be an important negative for the bond market as it would signal that the Fed
was committing to normalizing policy. The market may seek to cross this bridge ahead of the
Fed as it did in 2013, but we should also gauge carefully how the economy does on its new
liquidity deceleration diet.

If you click again on the chart link, I would point out that the T-bond yield has moved down a little
fast relative to its 40 wk m/a. This is a sign of an "overbought" market as is the  28% decline in
52 wk momentum as seen in the top panel. Wherever the yield goes through next year, it
has had a run that may be too good in the short term

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