Today’s brief analysis of US Treasury Yield curves and the Debt profiles of both the USA and Italy highlights the enduring question in the title of this post.
The first graphic highlights one important issue. We chose 2 August 2011 versus 17 February 2012 as key dates to compare the US Treasury Yield curve. If we cast our minds back to 2 August 2012 two key facts emerge:
- This was the D-Day of the US Debt Ceiling vote
- The US still had a Triple A credit rating
The key take-away from the Yield Curve comparison is that even with a ratings downgrade, the US is actually able to borrow new capital at a lower rate of interest 6 months on.
However, to pour a bit of realism into the analysis, we highlight two interesting Debt profile graphics below.
The first one is the USA Treasury Maturity curve (admittedly 6 months out of date), highlighting when the current debt will need to be redeemed or rolled over. The second is the Italian Bond Maturity curve. You will notice just how similar the USA and Italy Debt Maturity profiles are.
From this comparison, the critical question currently for us is:
Where will all the new money come from to roll over the debt maturing during the next 3 – 12 months? QE is one option, but investors still need to be convinced that their capital is safe and relatively risk-free. It is the Risk-free equation (or investor risk appetites) that needs to be explored in more detail.
- Raymond James Weekly Bond Market Commentary (learnbonds.com)
- The Fed’s Undistinguished Macro Discussions Circa Jan 2006 (wallstreetpit.com)
- S&P on Italy: Borrowing is Going to Be Tough for a While (blogs.wsj.com)
- Not Making Sense Of The Economy (lezgetreal.com)
- The Italian Yield Curve Vs The Euro Basis Swap (zerohedge.com)
- Bond Report: Treasurys stay down after 10-year auction (marketwatch.com)
- Bill Gross Exposes “The New Paranormal” In Which “The Financial Markets And Global Economies Are At Great Risk” (zerohedge.com)
- Are western central banks having an existential crisis? (ftalphaville.ft.com)
- Vickers: Italy’s Debt Looks More Sustainable (businessweek.com)
- PIMCO’s Bill Gross’ New Bet On Treasuries: Roll Down The Yield Curve (forbes.com)
February 18, 2012 | Categories: 2010, 2012, Analysis, Capital Markets, Economics, economy, Opinion, Political Economy, Politics, Risk, theMarketSoul ©2012 | Tags: 2012, Analysis, Blog, Blogging, Blogs, Capital Markets, Credit rating, Debt, Debt Ceiling, Economics, Economy, Federal Reserve System, Financial Regulation, Free Market, Ideas, Interest Rates, Italian Bonds, Italy, market confidence, Monetarism, Monetary Economics, Opinion, Political Economy, Politics, Quantitative easing, Risk, Risk Management, theMarketSoul, Thoughts, United States, United States Department of the Treasury, United States Treasury security, US T-Bills, US Treasury Yield curve, Writing, Yield curve, Yield Curves | 3 Comments »
Today’s brief commentary piece tracks the US Treasury Yield curve of 5 August 2011 (before the Standard & Poor’s downgrade announcement) and the closing rate on 10 August 2011.
As can be observed, across the board, the T-Bill yields of 10 August are lower than on 5 August 2011.
It begs the question:
Is a ratings agency downgrade actually good for business?
The table below reinforces the point:
At least the volatility we have been observing in the stock markets of late, has not yet manifested itself in the capital markets. How long can this continue?
August 11, 2011 | Categories: 2011, Analysis, Capital Markets, Economics, Market Economy, Monetary Economics, Political Economy, theMarketSoul ©2011 | Tags: 2011, Analysis, Blogging, Blogs, Capital Markets, Confidence, Economics, Economy, Fiduciary, Free Market, Interest Rates, market confidence, Monetarism, Monetary Economics, Opinion, Political Economy, Politics, Ratings Agencies, Reflection, Risk Management, T-Bills, theMarketSoul, Thoughts, US T-Bills, us treasuries, US Treasury Yield Curves, Yield Curves | 1 Comment »
So it has finally happened. After threatening for months that a credit rating down grade was probable for the USA, Standard & Poor’s finally took the ‘big step’ on Friday 5 August, after the major markets closed.
So what next?
In our article ‘US Treasuries – Are the markets really that bothered?‘ published on 30 July 2011, we argued that the markets were not really bothered, as both 5 & 7 year T-Bill currently delivered a negative Real Return to investors.
Everyone is dreading the opening bells in stock capital and forex market on Monday, yet we believe the fundamental question for this week will be:
Is this an FX or market call?
What we meanby this question is:
Will the markets and market participants see the down grade as an opportunity to play an FX gain game; or has the game fundamentally shifted and will the capital markets react by demanding a higher nominal or at least Real Return on US Treasury bills?
All pointers at the moment did not indicate a problem, but time will tell on whether a fundamental shift in attitude has occurred. Remember a credit rating is only a qualitative indicator, not a quantitative one, so on a technical call a few FX traders and investors might make a profit or two; but we are all waiting to see if the entire game has changed, or not.
Other factors that might come into play soon would be QE3 and attitude hardening by major T-Bill investors.
How the US Treasury and administration now react will be crucial.
Who are we going to trust to make this big call?
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August 7, 2011 | Categories: 2011, Analysis, Business, Economics, economy, Free Market, Governance, Ideas, Market Economy, Monetary Economics, Opinion, Political Economy, Politics, Reflections, Risk, Risk Management, theMarketSoul ©2011 | Tags: 2011, Analysis, Blogs, Budgetary Control, Budgets, Business, Compliance, Compliance Regimes, Confidence, crisis, Economics, Economy, Fiduciary, Financial Regulation, Foreign exchange market, Forex, Free Market, FX, FX gains & losses, Game Theory, Ideas, Information Assymetry, Inspiration, Interest Rates, Investor, Market Analysis, market confidence, Market plays, Monetarism, Monetary Economics, Opinion, Political Economy, Politics, Principles, Principles based compliance, Ratings Agencies, S&P Ratings, Standard & Poor, Standard & Poor's, Sustainability, Synthesis, theMarketSoul, Thoughts, United States, United States Department of the Treasury, United States Treasury security, us treasuries, US Treasury Yield Curves, Yield Curves | Leave A Comment »