Category Archives: Fixed Income

Europe’s Short Rate Remains Unchanged

The European Central Bank left its key rate unchanged at a record low of 0.25%. There was speculation around whether the European Central Bank would cut rates again in response to the low level of inflation (0.7% in January). The central bank’s president, Mario Draghi, addressed the low inflation issue by saying that the measure Read more […]

The Power of Dividends: Preferred Stock

Similar to fixed income securities, the U.S. Preferred Stock market has started 2014 with positive performance. The S&P U.S. Preferred Stock Index  (Total Return) ended January 2014 up 2.68% .  A good start given the S&P 500 Index (Total Return) was down 3.46%.  As a fixed income comparison the S&P/BGCantor U.S. Treasury Bond  7-10 Year Read more […]

Treasury yields remain lower for the start of 2014

Counter to the thinking that tapering would drive yields higher; Treasury yields have remained lower for the start of 2014.  Additional collateral needs to meet regulatory requirements; risk-off trading and economic uncertainty in emerging market countries such as Turkey have temporarily kept rates lower than the start of the year.  It remains to be seen Read more […]

Puerto Rico and Indexing the Municipal Bond Market

Puerto Rico Bonds Removed from Investable Municipal Bond Indices On January 8, 2014, S&P Dow Jones Indices announced that it is removing bonds issued by Puerto Rico and other territories from the S&P National AMT-Free Municipal Bond Index effective  January 31, 2014. Why? Puerto Rico bonds no longer meet the objective of the index. The Read more […]

Housing Finance: Déjà vu All Over Again

Bonds May Puzzle But Stocks Could be Worrisome Bonds: Just when people thought we were safe from creative financing applied to bonds backed by homes, a new improved approach is about to surface.  The past year has seen an increase in buying homes for rent by private equity funds and others.  The private equity buyers Read more […]

The Shrinking US Federal Budget Deficit

The US federal budget has a reasonable probability (our base case scenario) of reaching operational balance – revenues equal expenses excluding interest expense – by FY2015. This is an amazing turnaround and it means that budget deficit is now shrinking faster, meaning reduced supply of US Treasuries, even as the Federal Reserve tapers its quantitative Read more […]

Munis – Once again a ‘risk off’ asset class

Municipal bonds yields have come down at a faster pace than U.S. Treasury bond yields helping to push up bond prices. Equity and currency market volatility is helping to drive cash inflows for municipal bond funds and when combined with manageable new issue supply has helped foster a stronger muni bond market. The S&P National AMT-Free Municipal Bond Index tracking Read more […]

Looking Back for Forward Guidance

Investors and some central bankers believe in forward guidance – that announcing what the bank will do well before it does anything can control the economy.  One proponent is Mark Carney the governor of the Bank of England (BOE) and previously head of the Bank of Canada. In a speech earlier today at Davos he Read more […]

Indian Fixed Income or Equities: Know your onions!

The fixed income market is quintessential for the growth of the economy. They serve as one of the mediums for the government to raise money. In India the fixed income market has been attaining the depth as well as maturity over the years and the government securities play a dominating role. The on-the-run 10 year Read more […]

The Yellen Fed

The FOMC, the Fed’s monetary policy unit, meets next week on January 28th and 29th. It will be Ben Bernanke’s last meeting and the beginning of Janet Yellen’s leadership of the central bank.  No immediate change in Fed policy is likely – winding down QE3 over the next few months as announced in December will Read more […]