The long T-bond will be very interesting to watch as 2018 unfolds. With inflation running down
around 2%, the bond has given up almost all of its long run 300 basis point premium to average
of the inflation rate. Bond investors have also remained skeptical that US real economic growth
will accelerate markedly enough to create sufficient pressure on extant economic slack to push
the inflation rate above the 2% average for any appreciable period of time.
The long guy has moved up from its all time low yield of 2.1% to as high as 3.2% since 2016,
before settling down to the 2.8+% level recently. Doubtless, rising short rates over the past 12-15
months have exerted upward pressure on yields, but the rise in the long bond yield % has been
very stubborn. My bond yield directional indicator has pointed to higher yield levels but it too
has cooled off recently as US production growth has remained modest and sensitive materials
prices have flattened out after rising appreciably from early 2016 through early 2017.
So far, the bond players have not grown apprehensive that the Trump / GOP tax cut plan is going
to do much to push up either growth or inflation. Moreover, there is as yet little worry that the
combination of Fed quantitative tightening (selling Treasuries and agencies) and a larger budget
deficit resulting from the tax cut plan will create sufficient supply to put extra premium in the
bond yield. Plainly the bond market is playing like they are from Missouri: Show Us!
Long Treasury Yield %
- Peter Richardson
- 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 !!!