Advertise | Bookmark | Contact Us | E-Mail List |  | Update Page | UraniumSeek.com 

Commentary : Gold Review : Markets : News Wire : Quotes : Silver : Stocks - Main Page 

 GoldSeek.com >> News >> Story  Disclaimer 
 
Latest Headlines

Gold Seeker Closing Report: Gold Gains While Stocks Struggle Higher
By: Chris Mullen, Gold Seeker Report

It’s Lose-Lose For The Fed And For Everyone
By: Dave Kranzler

From China, translated from the Chinese: 'GATA is not wrong'
By: Chris Powell

Michael Pento: Finally, Corporate Stock Buybacks Blow Up
By: John Rubino

The New Safe Haven: Gold Stocks!
By: Stewart Thomson

Stock Market Hangs on Edge of Very Big Cliff
By: David Haggith

Will gold and silver miners join the lawsuits against JPMorganChase?
By: Chris Powell

The Surprising Major Demand Factor That Drives The Gold Price
By: Steve St. Angelo

Why Do Investors Tolerate It
By: Keith Weiner

Watch This Chart to Get the Jump on the Fed’s Big Announcement
By: Rick Ackerman

 
Search

GoldSeek Web

 
How Did That Get Into My Bond Fund??


By: John Rubino



 -- Published: Wednesday, 31 January 2018 | Print  | Disqus 

Towards the end of financial bubbles, people who previously paid little attention to things like “quality” start trying to figure out what they actually own. The result is either funny or terrifying, depending on the point of view.

This time around bonds are (finally) getting a closer look. From today’s Wall Street Journal:

Decade of Easy Cash Turns Bond Market Upside Down

Debt deals set records from Tajikistan to East Rutherford, N.J., as investors keep hunting yield.

Last fall, a hydroelectric dam in Tajikistan, the government of Portugal and a cruise-ship operator all issued debt at unusually low interest rates. The seemingly unconnected deals are part of a proliferation of aggressive bond sales influenced by a decade of loose monetary policy and a demographic shift in global investing.

Historical limits on who can borrow, and at what cost, have broken down as fund managers agree to previously unpalatable terms.

Central bankers in the U.S., Europe and Japan helped shape the new breed of deals by simultaneously purchasing over $1 trillion in high-quality bonds since 2009 and lowering benchmark interest rates to jump-start their faltering economies. Modest economic growth came, but the strategy crowded private investors out of safe debt, prompting them to buy riskier bonds to boost returns.

Retiring baby boomers amplified the trend by moving their investments away from stocks into bonds, boosting assets in U.S. bond mutual funds to $4.6 trillion in November from $1.5 trillion a decade earlier, according to the Investment Company Institute, a trade group for investment firms.

The article goes on to present some examples of bonds that might not exist in less bubbly times. Here are three:

  • Tajikistan borrowed $500 million to finish construction of a hydroelectric dam that was started under the Soviet Union. This is one of the world’s most corrupt countries – a fact noted in the offering prospectus — and the dam’s electricity will be sold to Afghanistan, which, as most Americans know, is in the middle of a civil war that the “good guys” might easily lose (also mentioned in the prospectus). The deal’s investment bank, Citigroup, initially marketed the bonds to yield 8% but received such a warm welcome that it cut the rate to 7.1%. Buyers included big U.S. firms like Fidelity, which bought $14 million of the bonds, presumably to boost the yield of funds sold to retirees.
  • The American Dream Mall in East Rutherford, N.J. broke ground in 2003 but ran out of money to finish construction. In 2017 the mall’s current owner—its third—employed Goldman Sachs to sell $1.1 billion of 6.9% muni bonds, fully half of which were bought by the Nuveen fund family. “Unlike most malls, American Dream will derive most of its revenue from experiential attractions that can’t be replicated online, rather than depending on retailers,” said a Noveen executive.
  • On Nov. 8, Portugal sold €1.25 billion ($1.55 billion) of 10-year bonds that yielded 1.94%—the lowest rate ever for the country. Portugal needed an international bailout in 2011 and still has a junk credit rating. It’s one of the most heavily indebted countries in Europe, but the auction set its borrowing cost below that of the U.S. government, which sold 10-year bonds in November to yield 2.31% [those bonds now yield 2.7%].

What does all this mean? In a nutshell, crazy stuff has been happening under the placid surface of the fixed income market. None of the three bonds profiled here are especially good bets, and retiree and pension fund portfolios are full of similarly toxic paper.

When a few such deals blow up – as bubble assets always eventually do – investors will start wondering what’s going to blow up next. And they’ll find not just a few but many, many bad ideas lurking in their “low risk” accounts. The resulting stampede for the exits will look familiar to anyone who lived through the tech stock and housing busts of previous decades.

With one big difference. This time around crappy, crazy paper is not just in tech stock and ABS portfolios. It’s everywhere. Trillions of dollars of sovereign debt will tank along with the sketchy shopping mall and emerging market infrastructure bonds. The resulting bust will be more broad-based and therefore way more interesting than anything that’s come before.

 


| Digg This Article
 -- Published: Wednesday, 31 January 2018 | E-Mail  | Print  | Source: GoldSeek.com

comments powered by Disqus







 



Increase Text SizeDecrease Text SizeE-mail Link of Current PagePrinter Friendly PageReturn to GoldSeek.com

 news.goldseek.com >> Story

E-mail Page  | Print  | Disclaimer 


© 1995 - 2019



GoldSeek.com Supports Kiva.org

© GoldSeek.com, Gold Seek LLC

The content on this site is protected by U.S. and international copyright laws and is the property of GoldSeek.com and/or the providers of the content under license. By "content" we mean any information, mode of expression, or other materials and services found on GoldSeek.com. This includes editorials, news, our writings, graphics, and any and all other features found on the site. Please contact us for any further information.

Live GoldSeek Visitor Map | Disclaimer


Map

The views contained here may not represent the views of GoldSeek.com, Gold Seek LLC, its affiliates or advertisers. GoldSeek.com, Gold Seek LLC makes no representation, warranty or guarantee as to the accuracy or completeness of the information (including news, editorials, prices, statistics, analyses and the like) provided through its service. Any copying, reproduction and/or redistribution of any of the documents, data, content or materials contained on or within this website, without the express written consent of GoldSeek.com, Gold Seek LLC, is strictly prohibited. In no event shall GoldSeek.com, Gold Seek LLC or its affiliates be liable to any person for any decision made or action taken in reliance upon the information provided herein.