Bonds: Total Market

(Tokyo)

Bond yields had been rising quickly in the US. The rise seemed to come out of nowhere for American investors, but most analysts said the quick jump in ten-year yields was due to a possible policy change by the BOJ to a less accommodative stance. However, the BOJ announced today that it would make only very minor changes and would remain highly loose in its monetary approach. The bank said it would not join other global central bank’s in tightening policy, and would leave rates ultra low for an extended period.


FINSUM: This is good news for bond investors, as Japanese tightening was interpreted as a major threat. This should help keep US yields looking attractive versus global yields, which will in turn keep them lower.

(New York)

Investors may need to be very worried about stagnant bond yields. After many weeks of pause, bond yields finally look set to move higher. The ten-year Treasury is approaching 3% and as the good market mood and good economic news continues, it seems there could a surge higher in yields. European yields have also been moving sideways for some time. Improving trade relationships, great earnings, and good economic data mean that the bond market may react all at once in the near-term.


FINSUM: This is an interesting argument—bond yields have been quite stagnant despite good news, and they may ultimately react all at once. Seems plausible right now.

(Chicago)

Barron’s has put out an interesting article outlining a key correlation in the muni market. We thought it was worth some coverage. A new study out of the University of Illinois has found that muni bond yields tend to lose when local newspapers shut down. Local media often keep local government spending in check and work as a balance on corruption and mismanagement. A multi-year study of the muni market found that yields tended to rise when these papers shut down. The authors summarize “The loss of monitoring that results from newspaper closures is associated with increased government inefficiencies, including higher likelihoods of costly advance refundings and negotiated issues, and higher government wages, employees, and tax revenues”.


FINSUM: This makes perfect sense to us. The problem is that local newspapers have a bleak future at the moment, so the hopes of them serving as a watchdog in the future looks highly unlikely.

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