Historical Prospective on Bond Market

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

The Bond Market
During the latter part of the 19th and the early 20th centuries the construction of the Trans-Continental railroad created an excessive accumulation of debt. The result was a period of low interest rates when the long treasury yield averaged less than 2.% for more than a decade. In a parallel case, the highly-indebted Japanese economy has seen its thirty year bond yield average about 2% or less since 1998.
In view of the United States extreme over-indebtedness, we believe that 2% is a an attainable level for the long treasury bond yield. In the previous historic cases yields tended to remain close to their record lows for an extended period of time, coinciding with a long period of deleveraging. Presently the U.S. is in its fifth year of deleveraging, and patient investors in the long end of the treasury market have been financially rewarded. We continue to hold long positions in thirty-year treasury debt, but remain increasingly wary of the potential for further adverse meddling by Federal Reserve authorities.

Van R. Hoisington
Lacy H. Hunt, Ph.D.

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