Bubbles, Corrections, the Fed and Summer Heat

There is a growing debate among economists, journalist and bloggers over whether the Fed’s QE3 is creating a bubble in the stock market. (See Krugman, Gillian Tett or Felix Salmon among others) fueled by the market’s gains since the start of the year and the usual worries that disaster will strike during the summer break at the Read more […]

High Yield Munis Still Cheaper Than Corporate Junk

U.S. Municipal Bonds: (Data as of May 16,2013) Corporate junk bond yields have risen as mutual funds have seen outflows. Meanwhile, municipal high yield bonds have held their own. A rare twist in the markets may be ending as a result: yields of tax free high yield municipal bonds are 34bps higher (Yield to Worst) Read more […]

Mid-Month Issuer Review of the S&P U.S. Issued High Yield Corporate Bond Index

The index is up 0.42% month-to-date.  Here is a performance review of the top & bottom 10 issues within the index. Top 10 Issues May has been a good month for MBIA so far.  The insurer settled a 2008 legal dispute with Bank of America concerning bad mortgage debt.  The $1.7 billion settlement later led Read more […]

Buddy, Can You Spare Some Yield?

It doesn’t take more than a passing glance at a business publication or televised market update to know that one of the top business stories is the current low interest rate regime.  U.S. Treasury bills are being auctioned, and are trading, at or near zero yields.  The yield-to-worst on the S&P/BGCantor 0-3 Month U.S. Treasury Read more […]

History, Real and Simulated

Show me a man who’s never been burned by relying on a backtest and I’ll show you a man who’s never relied on a backtest at all  (either that or a fictional character).  Skepticism toward backtested results is endemic among investment professionals, and rightly so.  And yet… when a new concept comes along, backtested performance Read more […]

Secured, Or Unsecured, That Is The Question

The S&P U.S. Issued High Yield Corporate Bond Index is returning 4.01% year-to-date with a weighted average yield of 5.78%.  Similar to high yield bonds—whose credit ratings are below the investment grade cutoff of ‘BBB’ assigned by the rating agencies—are senior loans. William Shakespeare’s famous quote from Hamlet, “To be, or not to be, that Read more […]

Tennis Without a Net

Indices existed well before the launch of indexed financial products. The Dow Jones Industrial Average, e.g., goes back to 1896; the first indexed institutional portfolios appeared in the 1970s, the first index mutual fund in 1976, and the first index-tracking exchange traded funds in the 1990s. In all these cases, the index provider was independent Read more […]

Gold’s Crash Outshines the Need for Heat

Year-to-Date S&P GSCI is off 6.81% S&P GSCI Gold had its biggest one day loss ever,-9.3%, on April 15, 2013, since its inception on Jan 6, 1978, and hit its lowest level since Feb 2, 2011. The decline was due to worries about central bank sales, especially from Cyprus, but also, from the Fed winding Read more […]