Why are other yields falling as Treasury yields rise?
This post is a guest contribution by Paul Kasriel* of The Northern Trust Company.
There is a lot in the press these days about how the recent rise in Treasury bond yields has the potential to abort a nascent economic recovery. To this I say, nonsense! Chart 1 shows that as the Treasury bond yield has risen in recent weeks, the yields on privately-issued debt have declined in absolute levels. Chart 2 shows that the stock market has been trending higher since March as the Treasury bond yield has risen.
This combination of a rise in the Treasury bond yield, declines in yields on privately-issued bonds and rising stock prices is consistent with an asset allocation shift away from an asset with no credit risk to assets with credit risk. How can this lessen the chances of an economic recovery? If the current and increased supply of Treasury debt coming to market were “crowding out” private debt issuance, then the yields on privately-issued debt would be holding steady or rising in tandem with the rise in the Treasury bond yield. But again, yields on privately-issued debt are falling. In sum, investor risk appetite is returning, which is a good thing for the prospects of an economic recovery, not a bad thing.
Source: Paul Kasriel, Northern Trust – Daily Global Commentary, June 9, 2009.
*Paul Kasriel is Senior Vice President and Director of Economic Research at The Northern Trust Company. The accuracy of the Economic Research Department’s forecasts has consistently been highly-ranked in the Blue Chip survey of about 50 forecasters over the years. To that point, Paul received the prestigious 2006 Lawrence R. Klein Award for having the most accurate economic forecast among the Blue Chip survey participants for the years 2002 through 2005. The accuracy of Paul’s 2008 economic forecast was ranked in the top five of The Wall Street Journal survey panel of economists. In January 2009, The Wall Street Journal and Forbes cited Paul as one of the few who identified early on the formation of the housing bubble and foresaw the economic and financial market havoc that would ensue after the bubble inevitably burst.
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