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Stingy News Article Link

Obama pays more than Buffett
03/22/10 Permlink | Bonds
"Berkshire Hathaway's 1.4 percent notes due February 2012 yielded 0.89 percent on March 18, 3.5 basis points, or 0.035 percentage point, less than Treasuries, composite prices compiled by Bloomberg show. The Omaha, Nebraska-based company, which is rated Aa2 by Moody's and AA+ by S&P, has about $157 billion of cash and equivalents and about $52 billion of debt. P&G, the world's largest consumer-products maker, saw the yield on its 1.375 percent notes due August 2012 fall to 1.12 percent on March 18, 6 basis points below government debt. The Cincinnati-based company, rated Aa3 by Moody's and AA- by S&P, makes everything from Tide detergent to Swiffer dusters."



More articles on the same topic . . .

Addicted to zero
07/05/14 Permlink | Government Bonds
"So tell me again why central bankers in North America feel they have to 'keep our economy going' by maintaining a zero-interest rate policy."

Vanguard total int'l bond fund
05/05/13 Permlink | Funds Indexing Bonds
"The latest filing provides additional details on the fund that.s designed to track the Barclays Global Aggregate ex-USD Float Adjusted RIC Capped Index (dollar hedged), and will tap into a universe of 7,000 high-quality corporate and government bonds from 52 countries."

High yield market is out of control
01/20/13 Permlink | Bonds
"I find it interesting: Many many people realize the market is heavily overvalued in terms of compensation of return versus risk, but they still are buying."

Howard Marks on Bonds
01/12/13 Permlink | Bonds
"These are unhappy times for bond investors according to Howard Marks."

Garbage for brains?
11/17/12 Permlink | Bonds
"Corporate bonds, still carrying all the idiosyncratic risks of single companies, are priced as if they were safer than Treasurys."

Last refuge of scoundrels
11/03/12 Permlink | Bonds
"Governments involved in financial repression (keeping savings rates below the inflation rate) encourage their citizens to do stupid things by reaching for yield. Remember, most people think of yield as a magic chicken that lays eggs on schedule, and never gets sick or dies. Those who truly understand markets know that yield is an allocation of free cash flow, and that many businesses can.t control their free cash flow, so dividends are less than fully certain."

One for the ages
11/03/12 Permlink | Bonds
"The next bankruptcy cycle, whether in 2 or 3 or 4 years, is going to be one for the ages."

A lost decade for savers
09/26/12 Permlink | Debt Thrift Bonds
"The 1990s were a lost decade for Japan. The 2000s delivered a lost decade to U.S. investors. Now, five years into the onset of the financial crisis, with stock and bond markets booming, housing resurgent, and even Detroit redeemed, it.s savers who find themselves in a lost decade."

All time low yields
09/11/12 Permlink | Bonds
"According to both the Barclays high-yield index and the CS HY index, yields in high yield have reached an all time low of 6.6%. Further, over the last few weeks, traders and syndicate desks have been whispering of a simply gargantuan amount of high yield and leveraged loans coming this month. Certain desks have been advocating a move to CCC assets as they still yield approximately 100 bps over their all time low seen on...wait for it...May 2007."

We live in remarkable times
09/08/12 Permlink | Bonds
"As Deutsche Bank points out in its long-term asset return study, the longest series of bond yield data is for the Netherlands dating back all the way to 1517. In June, those yields reached a record low. Not just any old record, then, but a 500-year nadir. In America, yields go back only to 1790 but they too have been at all-time lows. The Bank of England was founded in 1694 but never felt the need to push base rates down so low; not in two world wars or a Great Depression. Nor did the Bank ever feel the need to expand its balance sheet to such a great extent (although Deutsche only has data back to 1830); currently it is around 25% of GDP."

The allure of long-term treasuries
06/18/12 Permlink | Bonds
"Financial advisers continue to profess that US treasuries should be a large part of a balanced portfolio. With the 10-year treasury yielding around 1.6%, the advice is hardly based on return expectations. It is also not due to expectations of mark to market gains. The up-side case in being long the 10-year treasury would be if the rate were to drop to the level of Japan's - just over half (a fairly unlikely outcome). The mark to market gain would be 7.5%. The downside case on the other hand would be if the 10-year yield rose to what it was just a year ago (or higher) - say around 3%. The mark to market loss would be around 11.5%. So the instrument effectively has an asymmetric payout profile and terrible current yield. What gives?"

Cutting back on bonds
04/28/12 Permlink | Bonds
"The strongest consensus I could find relates to interest rates. There are few managers who aren't running light on bonds and/or keeping their maturities short (including holding cash) to protect against rising rates. Carl Hoyt at Seymour Investment Management used Warren Buffett's words to make the point. "Current rates ... do not come close to offsetting the purchasing-power risk that investors assume. Right now bonds should come with a warning label.""

The constancy of safe asset demand
01/23/12 Permlink | Bonds
"The findings are preliminary, but the authors calculate that the safe asset share - the percentage of safe assets to total assets in the US economy - has been roughly the same since 1952, at about 33 per cent."

The rally that wouldn't die
01/17/12 Permlink | Bonds
"Last year's surge came in the 30th year of a historic rally. Since 1981, long-term Treasury bonds have returned 11.03% annually, 0.05 percentage point better than the Standard and Poor's 500-stock index."

What zero bound?
01/13/12 Permlink | Bonds
"Negative interest rates are a big puzzle. Easy stories miss the point: 'flight to quality,' 'need for collateral,' etc. Those stories don't explain why bonds are worth more than money."

No money for sauerkraut
11/23/11 Permlink | Bonds
"Germany failed to get bids for 35 percent of the 10-year bonds offered for sale today, propelling borrowing costs in Europe higher and the euro lower on concern the region's debt crisis is driving away investors."

The difference between AAA and AA+
08/08/11 Permlink | Bonds
"We simply don't have enough AAA and AA rated data to be statistically confident in these distinctions ex ante, which is why AA+ and AAA rated securities differ very little in their yields, usually by only 10 basis points (0.1%) on average. Here's the data from Moody's, that excludes Munis and ABS"

S&P cuts U.S. rating
08/06/11 Permlink | Bonds
"The U.S. had its AAA credit rating downgraded for the first time by Standard and Poor's, which slammed the nation's political process and said lawmakers failed to cut spending enough to reduce record deficits."

Negative nominal interest rates
08/04/11 Permlink | Bonds
"Bank of New York Mellon Corp. on Thursday took the extraordinary step of telling large clients it will charge them to hold cash."

AAA rating is a rarity
08/03/11 Permlink | Bonds
"But the truth is, even as the government maintained its AAA grade, the markets suggested long ago that the United States was no longer deserving of such a high rating. The credit-default swap market provided one clue. During the financial crisis in early 2009, the price of insurance that would pay off if the United States government defaulted on its debt was similar to that offered for companies ranked just above junk. Even today, the price of insurance on a government default has been higher than that for Colgate Palmolive, the global toothpaste giant, which has a rating two notches below AAA."

The AAA bubble
07/16/11 Permlink | Bonds
"The AAA bubble re-inflates and suddenly sovereign debt becomes the major force driving the world's triple-A supply. The turmoil of 2008 shunted some investors from ABS into safer sovereign debt, it's true. But you also had a plethora of incoming bank regulation to purposefully herd investors towards holding more government bonds, plus a glut of central bank liquidity facilities accepting government IOUs as collateral. Where ABS dissipated, sovereign debt stood in to fill the gap. And more. It's one reason why the sovereign crisis is well and truly painful."

Only millionaires should invest in bonds
07/06/11 Permlink | Bonds
"A Bond ETF will have a management expense ratio of 25-35bp. The bid-offer spread on seven year bonds purchased in amount of $5,000 will almost certainly exceed this. Additionally, there will be costs associated with further trading, unless you spend amounts exactly equal to your coupon income."

Inevitability of a Default in Greece
05/06/11 Permlink | Bonds
"Sooner or later there will be a Greek default, even if it is officially described as a "voluntary restructuring" approved by most bondholders. Europe wants to delay that at least until 2013, when new rules are supposed to kick in that would let official creditors - such as Europe's bailout fund - do better in a deal than private creditors. But it seems less and less likely that the inevitable can be delayed that long."

Negative Outlook on U.S. AAA Rating
04/18/11 Permlink | Bonds
"Standard and Poor's put a "negative" outlook on the U.S. AAA credit rating, citing rising budget deficits and debt."

Trouble Lurks in Junk Bonds
03/21/11 Permlink | Bonds
"Risky bonds have been on a tear since 2009. But as the events in Japan and elsewhere fuel demand for safer assets, investors would be wise to exercise caution."

The Bond Bubble
10/03/10 Permlink | Bonds
"If anybody is to blame for a bond bubble, it isn't Joe Schmo it's Uncle Sam, with some help from overseas.'The Fed has effectively been taxing money-market funds by cutting short-term interest rates to recapitalize the financial system and to make things easier on borrowers,' says Dan Dektar, chief investment officer at Smith Breeden Associates."

The muni-bond debt bomb
07/26/10 Permlink | Debt Government Bonds
"Like homeowners before the housing bubble burst, states and cities have gorged on debt, extended repayment times, and used devious means to avoid limits on borrowing - all in order to finance risky projects and kick fiscal problems down the road. Though the country's economic troubles have helped expose some of these unwise practices, the downturn has brought not reform but yet more abuse. Even as Tea Party protesters and taxpayer groups revolt against excessive government spending and taxes, they are paying too little attention to the gigantic state and local debt bomb. If it can't be defused, we're all at risk."

Bond default
07/21/10 Permlink | Government Bonds
"When Arkansas defaulted on its bonds in 1933, the politicians and investors talked about the same things we would talk about today. The state blamed underwriters for allowing it to sell too many bonds. Investors compared the willingness to repay debt with the ability to pay, and weighed the advantages of bonds backed by a pledge of taxing powers to those secured by specific revenue. Unlike today, nobody thought the federal government should come to the rescue."

Easy money, hard truths
05/27/10 Permlink | Debt Government World Bonds
"Are you worried that we are passing our debt on to future generations? Well, you need not worry. Before this recession it appeared that absent action, the government's long-term commitments would become a problem in a few decades. I believe the government response to the recession has created budgetary stress sufficient to bring about the crisis much sooner. Our generation - not our grandchildren's - will have to deal with the consequences."

The bond return puzzle
05/11/10 Permlink | Bonds
"High Yield bonds highlight the most fundamental problem in finance: that risk is not positively related to expected returns, and this fact is not empirically obvious. This strikes at the heart of finance, because 'risk' is a rationalization for many things, but after 50 years, remains like dark matter, a convenient assumption for an empirical 'anomaly'."

Grant vs Rosenberg
04/04/10 Permlink | Grant Bonds
"Terrific debate on whether US Treasuries are overvalued between James Grant and David Rosenberg"

Too late for the junk-bond party?
11/29/09 Permlink | Zweig Bonds
"Baylor University finance professor William Reichenstein says that junk-bond returns mirror what you would get if you put two-thirds of the money in investment-grade bonds and one-sixth each in large-company stocks and small-company stocks - all of which you probably own already."

Bondholders extract revenge
11/06/09 Permlink | Bonds
"Companies in dire straits often roll the dice in a bid to stave off bankruptcy. The problem is that last-ditch efforts to raise new funds or restructure often come at the expense of bondholders."

Take off the blinders
10/18/09 Permlink | Funds Bonds
"In the mad dash to buy bond funds -- about $200 billion so far this year -- investors are overlooking fees. Most of the new bond money is going not into dirt-cheap index funds, but into far more expensive, actively managed portfolios. The average annual cost of owning a taxable bond fund, according to Morningstar, is 1.03% of invested assets, with a maximum of 2.98%. In a world of 3% to 4% Treasury yields, with the risk of losses if interest rates rise, those fees loom large."

Yield hogs out-stampede stock bulls
10/16/09 Permlink | Bonds
"In 1993, there was a headlong rush into bond funds as investors fled what then was unimaginably low money-market rates of 3%. In 1994, they learned an expensive lesson in bond-market math: when yields go up, prices go down. When the Federal Reserve hiked short-term rates that year, there was a frightful bear market, which featured the first rout in exotic mortgage-backed securities."

Arithmetic returns for junk biased
09/03/09 Permlink | Bonds
"junk bonds have not outperformed investment grade bonds since data on junk bonds really became available, around 1987. This is the real corporate bond puzzle, in direct contrast to the corporate bond puzzle most acaddemics address, which is the anomalously high return premium between BBB and AAA bonds (around 100 basis points annually)."

GICs are safe, but don't expect much
06/27/09 Permlink | Indexing Stocks Thrift Bonds
"So what's the lesson? First, fees matter a great deal. Second, while a stock-filled portfolio may provide higher returns, that comes with risk. A GIC-only portfolio may not be exciting, but investors sleep well at night. "

Don't count on TIPS
06/17/09 Permlink | Bonds
"TIPS protect you from inflation with one hand, but they punish you with interest-rate hikes with the other."

California's economy: too big to fail?
06/17/09 Permlink | Government Bonds
"Though few experts think California will default on its debt - following the example New York City set in 1975 and Cleveland in 1978 - the mere possibility is troubling for the credit markets. "If California truly defaults, I am sure it will shake the faith of bondholders and noteholders in the overall municipal finance system," says Dan Boyd, senior fellow at the Rockefeller Institute of Government. "That would undoubtedly lead to higher issuance costs to additional state and local government loans.""

No bond safe from Obama
06/03/09 Permlink | Government Bonds
"Bondholders have a new risk to contend with -- the Obama administration's policy of 'shared sacrifice.' The government's approach to the bankruptcies of General Motors Corp. and Chrysler LLC illustrates how this new, unstated policy works: Bondholders are told to give up legal rights, and cash, as part of a government-mandated tradeoff that favors a politically connected special-interest group. The big threat is that this policy will extend to all bonds, including Treasury and municipal debt, not just corporate obligations."

Nine basis points!
06/03/09 Permlink | Indexing Bonds
"Has anyone noticed that Pimco, as of yesterday, is offering (now higher-yielding, lower-priced) short-term U.S. Treasuries at an expense ratio of 9 bps (0.09%)?"

Swensen recommends TIPS
05/25/09 Permlink | Bonds
"David Swensen, the top-ranked college endowment manager in the past decade, said individual investors should own inflation-protected Treasuries because U.S. economic recovery efforts may lead to an increase in consumer prices."

A great year in just five months
05/25/09 Permlink | Bonds
"The market for risky high-yield, or junk, bonds has gone from ridiculously cheap to just cheap with remarkable speed. The Merrill Lynch U.S. High Yield Master II index has narrowed from a wide yield margin of 2,100-plus basis points over Treasuries with comparable maturities in February to 1,232 basis points through Thursday. Back in June 2007, the yield margin was a mere 241 basis points. (A basis point is one-hundredth of a percentage point.)"

Chrysler and the Rule of Law
05/13/09 Permlink | Law Government Bonds
"Fleecing lenders to pay off politically powerful interests, or governmental threats to reputation and business from a failure to toe a political line? We might expect this behavior from a Hugo Chavez. But it would never happen here, right? Until Chrysler."

Zombie loans give life
05/11/09 Permlink | Bonds
"Citigroup Inc. and Bank of America Corp. are also amending revolving loans to zombie borrowers on the brink of default and others with debt ratings that are among the worst. Lenders are betting the economy will improve enough to keep companies from adding to the $1.4 trillion of writedowns and losses by the world's largest financial institutions since the start of 2007."

Bonds: Why Bother?
04/28/09 Permlink | Indexing Markets Bonds
"It's now well-known that stocks have produced negative returns for just over a decade. Real returns for capitalization-weighted U.S. indexes, like the S&P 500 Index, are now negative over any span starting 1997 or later. People fret about our 'lost decade' for stocks, with good reason, but they underestimate the carnage. Even this simple real return analysis ignores our opportunity cost. Starting any time we choose from 1979 through 2008, the investor in 20-year Treasuries (consistently rolling to the nearest 20-year bond and reinvesting income) beats the S&P 500 investor. In fact, from the end of February 1969 through February 2009, despite the grim bond collapse of the 1970s, our 20-year bond investors win by a nose. We're now looking at a lost 40 years!"

GM bondholder says offer isn't reasonable
04/27/09 Permlink | Government Bonds
"General Motors Corp. bondholders find the automaker.s offer to exchange their $27 billion in debt for equity unreasonable and said they should be treated more equitably with labor unions."

The rise of the "empty creditor"
04/22/09 Permlink | Bonds
"One key economic assumption is that people act to preserve their economic interests. Those who have lent money to troubled companies, for example, generally prefer the company remain solvent; otherwise, they can't get paid back. Similarly, lenders to troubled firms frequently favor swift, out-of-court restructuring deals, in which they swap debt for stock, instead of pushing companies into Chapter 11 bankruptcy. That's because companies in Chapter 11 can languish there for years and waste scarce company assets on huge fees to lawyers, consultants, and accountants. But if a lender or creditor believes it can profit more from a complete failure.i.e., if it has an insurance policy that pays off only in the event of utter devastation - that creditor might be more inclined to push a company toward bankruptcy."

Why capital structure matters
04/21/09 Permlink | Stocks Bonds
"My belief -- first stated 40 years ago in a graduate thesis and later confirmed by experience -- is that capital structure significantly affects both value and risk. The optimal capital structure evolves constantly, and successful corporate leaders must constantly consider six factors -- the company and its management, industry dynamics, the state of capital markets, the economy, government regulation and social trends. When these six factors indicate rising business risk, even a dollar of debt may be too much for some companies."

Fed to buy $300 billion of longer-term treasuries
03/18/09 Permlink | Government Markets Bonds
"The Federal Reserve opened a new front in its battle to bring down borrowing costs across the economy, pledging to buy as much as $300 billion of Treasuries and stepping up purchases of mortgage bonds. The announcement following the Federal Open Market Committee meeting today in Washington spurred the biggest rally in longer-dated Treasuries in decades. Officials unanimously voted to expand the Fed.s balance sheet up to $1.15 trillion, and said they may broaden a program aimed at boosting consumer loans to include other assets, today.s statement showed." [Bernanke last seen flying his 'bankruptcy or bust' helicopter to Wall Street.]

Move over, subprime
02/07/09 Permlink | Bonds
"Rotten as Alt-A loans are, worse may be to come. As unemployment in America heads towards 8%, even strongly underwritten loans will go bad. Bankers are growing increasingly anxious about the $1.1 trillion of prime mortgage loans and securities, much of which they held on to themselves, assuming it to be bombproof."

Worldwide Weimar
02/01/09 Permlink | Government Bonds
"Imagine a country so ravaged by inflation that $1 will buy you 630 billion in the local currency, where a loaf of bread costs tens of billions, and where wheelbarrows are the new wallets. That was the Weimar Republic in November 1923. A similar prospect may now await the world economy, says French economist Jacques Attali in 'La Crise, et Apres?' ('The Crisis, and Then?'), a stinging new critique of the financial meltdown."

Rates: when zero is way too high
01/20/09 Permlink | Government Bonds
"Trouble is, the Federal Reserve can't cut interest rates below the rate of inflation if inflation falls to zero, which many economists expect to happen soon. Clearly the Fed can't take in $1,000 and pay back only, say, $950 a year later. Rational investors would simply keep their money in cash outside the banking system to preserve its value. The solution is obvious: The Fed needs to deliberately raise the rate of inflation - maybe not all the way to 6%, but significantly above zero."

Cost of borrowing zooms up
01/19/09 Permlink | Bonds
"Like consumers and homeowners, America.s corporations binged on easy credit when times were flush, racking up huge debts. Now the bills are due, and paying them back will not be easy, or cheap."

BOE cuts rate to lowest since 1694
01/08/09 Permlink | Bonds
"The Bank of England cut the benchmark interest rate to the lowest since the central bank was founded in 1694 as policy makers tried to prevent the credit squeeze from deepening Britain.s recession. The bank rate was reduced a half-point to 1.5 percent, bringing policy makers closer to the point at which they will run out of options to fight the financial crisis with conventional tools. The pound rose against the euro and the dollar because some investors had bet on a larger reduction."

Yielding to none
01/08/09 Permlink | Bonds
"In the medium term, a sharp rise in inflation is a distinct possibility. Government bonds may be offering 'return-free risk', in the neat phrase of Jim Grant"

U.S. Treasuries head toward wekly loss
12/26/08 Permlink | Markets Bonds
"Rates on one-month and three-month Treasury bills fell below zero as investors sacrificed interest-rate payments to protect their principal. Rates on one-month bills were minus 0.05 percent, and three-month rates were minus 0.01 percent."

Muni-bond funds face record losses
12/13/08 Permlink | Bonds
"With the stock market down more than 40% and Treasury bond yields at 50-year lows, municipal bonds can seem an attractive option. And while some managers see once-in-a-lifetime bargains in the muni market, several funds have cratered."

The case for bonds
12/13/08 Permlink | Bonds
"Boring is beautiful - or so it feels in this time of wild and crazy stock market swings. In this case we're talking about investment-grade corporate bonds, which are dirt-cheap right now for the same reason that stocks are: The market turmoil has pounded down their prices. The result is historic opportunities in bonds issued by blue-chip companies."

Want to lend money to Uncle Sam?
12/09/08 Permlink | Bonds
"What would your reaction be if you had a friend who had reached the limit on 20 different credit cards and then came to you to borrow $100? Then imagine that you actually said yes, and when you went to give your friend the $100, he or she actually asked for $101 just for the privilege of loaning the money. Well, that is exactly what is happening (to a lesser degree) in the US T-bill market. As just another example of the crazy times we are living in, the yield on 3-Month Treasuries went negative today."

High yield credit spreads out of control
12/04/08 Permlink | Bonds
"With the 10-Year Treasury currently yielding about 2.65%, high-yield borrowers currently have to pay nearly 23% per year to borrow money for a ten-year period. It's going to take pretty high margins to maintain profitability in this kind of environment."

Fed commits $800 billion more to unfreeze lending
11/25/08 Permlink | Markets Real Estate Government Bonds
"The Federal Reserve took two new steps to unfreeze credit for homebuyers, consumers and small businesses, committing up to $800 billion. The central bank will purchase as much as $600 billion in debt issued or backed by government-chartered housing-finance companies. It will also set up a $200 billion program to support consumer and small-business loans, the Fed said in statements today in Washington."

The Treasury once again can borrow for free
11/21/08 Permlink | Government Bonds
"Ok, the Treasury can not borrow for free. Three month Treasury bills, according to Bloomberg, yield something like 2 basis points."

Treasury yields drop to record lows
11/20/08 Permlink | Bonds
"Treasury yields declined to record lows, with two-year notes dropping below 1 percent for the first time, as global stocks slumped and a deepening recession drove investors to the safest assets. Yields on two- and five-year notes and 30-year bonds dropped to the least since the Treasury began regular issuance of the securities. Ten-year note yields touched the lowest since 2003 after yesterday's release of the minutes of last month's Federal Reserve meeting showed policy makers expect the economy to contract through the middle of 2009 and more interest-rate cuts may be needed to counter deflation."

The new order
11/20/08 Permlink | Bonds
"That marginal buyer is gone, and isn't likely to come back any time in the foreseeable future. Admittedly, it isn't as though leverage is being pushed to zero in the fixed income markets, but haircuts (i.e., the amount of margin that must be posted) are now such that levered buyers cannot force efficiency. Take something simple like Fannie Mae 5-year bullet bonds. Should have a very small spread versus Treasuries given the government backing of the GSEs, but instead the spread is currently around 1.45%. It seems like an arbitrage. But in order for an actual arbitrager to realize a decent IRR on the trade, it probably needs to be leveraged 20x or so. Now maybe one can actually get that amount of leverage versus Agency collateral, but what happens if the trade initially goes against you? The potential margin calls would kill you. Its a difficult arbitrage to actually realize."

Realm of fantasy in credit insurance
10/24/08 Permlink | Derivatives Bonds
"If you had a 100,000 car, what kind of world would it be where you'd consider paying 50 grand over five years to insure it? You'd either have to be such an appalling driver that you ought not to be on the road, or the world would be such a lawless and dangerous place that your 100,000 car should be among the least of your worries. We do not need the details of mathematical probabilities to see there is little sense in the idea of paying out insurance costs that are a huge chunk of the value of the thing to be insured. But that is exactly what participants in credit markets are being asked to do."

Junk-bond yields bode ill for stocks
10/22/08 Permlink | Bonds
"Unsurprisingly, yields in the corporate bond market have recently risen to nine-year highs and high yield, or junk bonds, are trading at record levels as well. Usually junk bonds yield 4.5 to 5 percentage points more than the 10-year Treasury, but now that spread is about 14 points."

Lehman credit-swap auction sets payout
10/10/08 Permlink | Markets Derivatives Bonds
"Sellers of credit-default protection on bankrupt Lehman Brothers Holdings Inc. will have to pay 91.375 cents on the dollar to settle the contracts, setting up the biggest-ever payout in the $55 trillion market."

Is junk a bargain?
10/06/08 Permlink | Bonds
"The recent selloff has shocked junk investors, who had grown used to monthly returns in a range of negative 1% to positive 2%. Based on some statistical measures, September's 8% drop should have occurred only once in 27,777 years, according to Leverage World, a weekly publication of Garman Research."

Cities are cutting back projects
10/01/08 Permlink | Markets Government Bonds
"Cities, states and other local governments have been effectively shut out of the bond markets for the last two weeks, raising the cost of day-to-day operations, threatening longer-term projects and dampening a broad source of jobs and stability at a time when other parts of the economy are weakening."

Corporate bonds worse than equities
09/29/08 Permlink | Markets Bonds
"Even though equity markets are down nearly 7% today, the corporate bond market is even worse. Below we highlight a price chart of an ETF that tracks an index of investment grade corporate bonds (LQD). As shown, the ETF is down nearly 10% today!"

Lehman's '100% principal protection' means pennies
09/29/08 Permlink | Bonds
"A brochure pitching $1.84 million of notes sold by Lehman Brothers Holdings Inc. in August, a month before the firm filed for bankruptcy, promised '100 percent principal protection.' Buyers had 'uncapped appreciation potential' pegged to gains in the Standard & Poor's 500 Index, the brochure said. In the worst case, they would get back their $1,000-per-note investment in three years. Only the last in a list of 15 risk factors mentioned the biggest danger: 'An investment in the notes will be subject to the credit risk of Lehman Brothers.' Lehman's Sept. 15 bankruptcy leaves holders of the notes waiting in line with other unsecured creditors for what's left of their money."

Fannie, Freddie credit-default swaps
09/08/08 Permlink | Derivatives Government Markets Bonds
"Investors may be forced to unwind contracts protecting $1.47 trillion of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac bonds against default after the U.S. government seized control of the companies in a bid to bolster the housing market. Thirteen 'major' dealers of credit-default swaps agreed 'unanimously' that the rescue constitutes a credit event triggering payment or delivery of the companies' bonds, the International Swaps and Derivatives Association said in a memo obtained by Bloomberg News today."

The giant pool of money
08/23/08 Permlink | Real Estate Debt Markets Bonds
"A special program about the housing crisis produced in a special collaboration with NPR News. We explain it all to you. What does the housing crisis have to do with the turmoil on Wall Street? Why did banks make half-million dollar loans to people without jobs or income? And why is everyone talking so much about the 1930s? It all comes back to the Giant Pool of Money."

Court upholds ABCP plan
08/18/08 Permlink | ABCP Law Markets Bonds
"Investors whose funds have been locked up for more than a year in frozen asset-backed commercial paper may get their money back within as little as two months after an appeal court ruled a $32-billion restructuring plan is fair and legal."

Chou runs his fund the way he runs his life
05/31/08 Permlink | Funds Value Investing Chou Bonds
"At lunch Francis lamented that "I've become a bond trader." He finds it is very time-consuming because "there is a lot of haggling that goes on." His days are now filled with calls from bond dealers who know that Francis is an interested buyer. He is on everyone's speed dial. In the 2002 Chou Fund report, Francis said "distressed securities involve companies that have one or more serious deficiencies including weak economics, stretched balance sheets, liquidity problems, incompetent management, accounting frauds, potentially mutant cockroaches - you name it.""

Triple-A failure
04/22/08 Permlink | Markets Government Derivatives Bonds
"Structured finance, of which this deal is typical, is both clever and useful; in the housing industry it has greatly expanded the pool of credit. But in extreme conditions, it can fail. The old-fashioned corner banker used his instincts, as well as his pencil, to apportion credit; modern finance is formulaic. However elegant its models, forecasting the behavior of 2,393 mortgage holders is an uncertain business. 'Everyone assumed the credit agencies knew what they were doing,' says Joseph Mason, a credit expert at Drexel University. 'A structural engineer can predict what load a steel support will bear; in financial engineering we can't predict as well.'"

Bye bye AAA
04/07/08 Permlink | Bonds
"The six remaining borrowers with the highest rating from both S&P and Moody's are: Automatic Data Processing Inc., Berkshire Hathaway Inc., Exxon Mobil Corp., General Electric Co., Johnson & Johnson and Toyota Motor Corp., according to data compiled by Bloomberg."

Student lenders stifled
04/04/08 Permlink | Markets Debt Bonds
"The collapse of the $330 billion auction-rate securities market has brought debt sales by U.S. public student-loan agencies to a halt. No municipal bonds backed by student loans were sold in the first quarter, the first time that happened in almost 40 years, according to Thomson Financial. The inability to obtain financing differs from states, cities, schools and hospitals, which sold $82 billion of bonds to fund public works and replace failed auction debt that stuck them with penalty rates as high as 20 percent."

When I'm sixty-four
04/02/08 Permlink | Real Estate Markets Gross Bonds
Mr. Gross advocates government measures that attempt to stop the slide in housing prices. Oh, and he's turning 64.

The next shoe to drop in housing
03/15/08 Permlink | Debt Real Estate Bonds
"The credit crunch has finally hit the traditional mortgage market. Investors are now shunning mortgage-backed securities issued by government sponsored enterprises Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, which have been critical in keeping the real estate market from completely falling apart. Some fear this development will make it harder for people, even those with strong credit histories, to get a home loan."

What Citigroup says isn't what it does
03/15/08 Permlink | Stocks Bonds
"Real estate developer John Wimmer paid Citigroup Global Markets Realty Corp. almost $1 million last year to lock in a 5.6 percent mortgage rate on the refinancing of six commercial properties. At the November closings, Citigroup, citing plummeting demand for mortgage bonds, boosted the rate to 7.123 percent."

Moody's, S&P defer cuts on AAA subprime
03/11/08 Permlink | Bonds
"Even after downgrading almost 10,000 subprime-mortgage bonds, Standard & Poor's and Moody's Investors Service haven't cut the ones that matter most: AAA securities that are the mainstays of bank and insurance company investments. None of the 80 AAA securities in ABX indexes that track subprime bonds meet the criteria S&P had even before it toughened ratings standards in February, according to data compiled by Bloomberg."

Momentum and credit rating
02/19/08 Permlink | Momentum Academia Bonds
"This paper establishes a robust link between momentum and credit rating. Momentum profitability is large and significant among low-grade firms, but it is nonexistent among high-grade firms. The momentum payoffs documented in the literature are generated by low-grade firms that account for less than 4% of the overall market capitalization of rated firms. The momentum payoff differential across credit rating groups is unexplained by firm size, firm age, analyst forecast dispersion, leverage, return volatility, and cash flow volatility."

Snow White killed the 'triple-A'
02/13/08 Permlink | Buffett Bonds
"Well, when a company issues a 14 per cent bond when US Treasuries are below 4 percent and it's rated triple-A, we've now seen the cow jumping over the moon."

Pyramids crumbling
01/19/08 Permlink | Gross Bonds
Bill Gross, Jimmy Stewart, and banking

Ambac cut to AA
01/19/08 Permlink | Markets Bonds
"Ambac Financial Group Inc., the second-largest bond insurer, was stripped of its AAA credit rating by Fitch Ratings after the company abandoned plans to raise new equity. Ambac Assurance Corp. was lowered two levels to AA and may be reduced further, New York-based Fitch said yesterday in a statement."

Buffett starts up bond insurer
12/28/07 Permlink | Buffett Bonds
"Buffett, who has described derivatives as 'financial weapons of mass destruction,' told the Journal he will focus on insuring municipal debt rather than CDOs."

Foreclosures hit a snag for lenders
11/15/07 Permlink | Bonds
"A federal judge in Ohio has ruled against a longstanding foreclosure practice, potentially creating an obstacle for lenders trying to reclaim properties from troubled borrowers and raising questions about the legal standing of investors in mortgage securities pools."

ABCP hits main street
11/07/07 Permlink | Bonds
"The turmoil in asset-backed commercial paper knocked Bay Street on its ear in August and now, three months later, it has re-emerged on Main Street as pensioners and individual investors start to feel the pain. Because of holdings of illiquid ABCP, the pension fund for employees of the University of Western Ontario has restricted redemptions on some of its funds while the pension fund for 35,000 current and former employees of co-ops and credit unions may be forced to take similar steps."

Junk mortgages under the microscope
10/18/07 Permlink | Bonds
"It's getting hard to wrap your brain around subprime mortgages, Wall Street's fancy name for junk home loans. There's so much subprime stuff floating around - more than $1.5 trillion of loans, maybe $200 billion of losses, thousands of families facing foreclosure, umpteen politicians yapping - that it's like the federal budget: It's just too big to be understandable. So let's reduce this macro story to human scale. Meet GSAMP Trust 2006-S3, a $494 million drop in the junk-mortgage bucket, part of the more than half-a-trillion dollars of mortgage-backed securities issued last year. We found this issue by asking mortgage mavens to pick the worst deal they knew of that had been floated by a top-tier firm - and this one's pretty bad."

Profiting from mortality
07/24/07 Permlink | Bonds
"Death bonds may be the most macabre investment scheme ever devised by Wall Street"

Bear's big loss arouses SEC interest
06/25/07 Permlink | Bonds
"Bear Stearns told investors May 15 that the Enhanced Leveraged fund - which raised $642 million last summer - had lost 6.5% in April. But three weeks after that estimate, the investment firm shocked investors on June 7, telling them that the fund's actual April loss was 18.97%, or 23% for the year"

Bear Stearns' hunt for big cash
06/14/07 Permlink | Bonds
"The rise in mortgage defaults - particularly in the subprime market - ultimately will impair the value of many bonds that are backed by those risky home loans. But up until now, most bondholders have not have had to readjust their valuations for those mortgage-backed securities. Bond investors are not required to reduce the value of a bond unless it's either downgraded by a credit rating agency or sold for a reduced price in the secondary market. But traders are speculating that the big bond sale by Bear Stearns may set the stage for a second sale, this one involving a batch of poor performing mortgage bonds. If that were to occur, other hedge fund managers might be forced to mark down the value of some of their mortgage-related investments. That's clearly something bond bears are rooting for."

Why subprime lenders are in trouble
03/02/07 Permlink | Bonds
"As the subprime mortgage market goes into steep decline, threatening to drag the whole economy along with it, many people are wondering what could have gone so wrong so quickly. Until recently, after all, delinquency and foreclosure rates on subprime loans were reassuringly low. The answer may lie in how the quality of these mortgages has changed over the years. While subprime is the term used for loans issued to people with poor credit, not all subprime loans are created equal. And the subprime loans that were originated in 2006 that are turning out to be shockingly weak."

Debt-market bomb could hurt us all
02/23/07 Permlink | Bonds
"The greatest economic threat today isn't deflation in the housing market. A bigger worry is that a meltdown in the debt markets could force the global economy into a credit squeeze and recession."

Repo men
11/04/06 Permlink | Bonds
"Mr Clouse said there could now be a "strong sense of history repeating itself" - a reference to the scandal at Salomon Brothers in the early 1990s, in which the investment bank was caught dodging rules on treasury auctions in order to gain control over certain issues."

Death of the bond salesmen
10/25/06 Permlink | Bonds
"Mr. Levitt said the corporate bond market used to work like an "Oriental bazaar." "Transparency was at the core of all of its problems," he said. "Our intent was to make the market fairer. The result was that it was also less expensive." Now that fixed-income prices are available on NASD's website, bond salesmen have lost their advantage. "You're lifting the veil of ignorance," said Peter Campfield, head of taxable fixed-income trading at San Francisco-based Charles Schwab Corp., which trades an average of 500 corporate bonds a day. "Pre-Trace? It wasn't pretty. Price discovery was a challenge. You had to hunt and peck and dial numerous dealers to ascertain what a real market looked like.""

Yield curve inversion
12/28/05 Permlink | Bonds
"As shown in the chart below, each of the past six recessions (shaded areas) was preceded by an inversion in the spread between the Treasury 10-year yield and the fed funds rate. But there were two other instances of inversion - 1966:Q2 through 1967:1 and 1998:Q3 through 1998:Q4 - immediately after which no recession occurred. It would appear, then, that an inverted yield curve is more of a necessary condition for a recession to occur, but not a sufficient condition. That is, if the spread goes from +25 basis points and to -25 basis points, a recession is not automatically triggered. Rather, whether an inversion results in a recession would seem to depend on the magnitude of the inversion and, to a lesser extent, the duration of it. Recession-signaling aside, the yield curve remains a reliable leading indicator of economic activity. Although the spread going from +25 basis points to -25 basis points might not result in a recession, it does indicate that monetary policy has become more restrictive."

Riding the yield curve
12/28/05 Permlink | Bonds
"According to a 2003 analysis by the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco, each of the six recessions since 1970 was preceded by a yield curve inversion -- an unnerving precedence."

A hole in the middle
10/20/05 Permlink | Bonds
"At the end of the day, the sharpest shock may come from the bankruptcy courts after all. Delphi was known to be a vulnerable firm in a troubled industry. Refco, America's biggest independent-commission futures broker, caught the markets by surprise when it filed for protection this week. If the next couple of such surprises lead to a reduction in the supply of capital - either because investors take fright and bond spreads balloon or because banks turn stingy - that will make the cycle turn faster. Until then, all one can say is that credit quality, like Krispy Kreme's finest product, has a hole in it."

Canada Savings Bonds buyers are selling themselves short
10/16/05 Permlink | Bonds
"Old habits die hard -- that's the polite explanation of why people waste their time and money buying Canada Savings Bonds."

Beware the interest-only mortgage
06/06/05 Permlink | Bonds
"There's an ever-growing danger lurking in the already-overheated real estate market: the interest-only mortgage. The problem is, even the banks don't know how dangerous their exposure is."

Soft and flat? Danger!
06/06/05 Permlink | Bonds
"Not too fast and not too steep would normally be a good path to follow. Unless, of course, you are hiking in today's land of economics. Then that path, to some, looks pretty scary."

Stalling again
03/20/05 Permlink | Bonds
"General Motors' latest profits warning is terrible news for the giant carmaker. Is it also terrible news for the credit markets?"

Down at the dog pound
11/11/04 Permlink | Bonds
"Just how unlikely investors are to get their money back can be gauged by the default statistics that the rating agencies produce. According to Standard & Poor's, another big rating agency, a bit more than 13% of issuers with a rating of B- or less will default within a year, and 39% of them within five years. For those with a rating of CCC (roughly, its equivalent of Caa1, Moody's rating for Mueller) the figures are 30% and 53%. According to Standard & Poor's, 85% of junk bonds issued so far this year have a maturity of more than seven years. Chances are, in other words, that anyone hanging on to such bonds until maturity will not get their money back."

Global bond default rate rises slightly
11/08/04 Permlink | Bonds
"The four corporate bond defaults in October totaled US$2.3 billion, and all were by companies based in the U.S. The largest default last month also was the largest thus far in 2004: US$1.30 billion by Trump Atlantic City Associates. "

Downgraded: Triple-A credit ratings
11/05/04 Permlink | Bonds
"S&P's Nicholas Riccio on how the ranking's importance has been eroded by other priorities like growth and more cheap financing options"

Global credit quality getting better
07/09/04 Permlink | Bonds
"The rating agency says in a new report that the global speculative-grade default rate slipped to 3.3% in June, down from 3.4% in May and 4.2% at the end of the first quarter 2004. This marks the ninth consecutive quarterly decline in the global speculative-grade default rate since its January 2002 peak. Moody's default rate forecasting model indicates that credit quality is expected to improve into the second quarter 2005."

Credit ratings and quality control for fund managers
07/08/04 Permlink | Bonds
"Mutual fund companies vary in their emphasis on these reports, depending on whether it's a bond fund with a significant placement in corporate debt or whether it's a straight-up equity fund, since a company's ability to pay debts cannot be completely separated from stock market performance. Leverage is something that value managers, now in vogue, take very seriously."

Hot for TIPS? Use caution
06/22/04 Permlink | Bonds
"Treasury inflation-protected securities are popular with investors. But rising interest rates could limit their returns."

Bonds vs. psychics
05/30/04 Permlink | Bonds
"Bond transactions don't have to be reported publicly, ever. And the fact that the dealer's profit is embedded in the price makes it impossible to figure out if you got a good deal. So I've concluded that the market for psychic advice is more efficient than the one for savings products."

The breaking of bonds
02/24/04 Permlink | Bonds
"Investors have found safety and good returns in the bond market in recent years, but the fixed-income refuge is becoming a dangerous place to dwell."

Perpetual debt
01/27/04 Permlink | Bonds
"In a 1789 letter to his friend James Madison, Thomas Jefferson raised the philosophical and moral question of whether "one generation of men has a right to bind another." He believed the answer was no, "that the earth belongs in usufruct to the living." He believed it a principle of "very extensive application and consequence, in every country." Applying it to government borrowing, he argued that it was unjust and unrepublican for one generation of a nation to encumber the next with the obligation to discharge the debts of the first. After all, the following generation cannot have given their consent to decisions made by their fathers, nor will have they have necessarily benefited from the deficit expenditures."

Repudiating the national debt
01/16/04 Permlink | Bonds
"Before the Reagan era, conservatives were clear about how they felt about deficits and the public debt: a balanced budget was good, and deficits and the public debt were bad, piled up by free-spending Keynesians and socialists, who absurdly proclaimed that there was nothing wrong or onerous about the public debt. In the famous words of the left-Keynesian apostle of "functional finance," Professor Abba Lernr, there is nothing wrong with the public debt because "we owe it to ourselves." In those days, at least, conservatives were astute enough to realize that it made an enormous amount of difference whetherslicing through the obfuscatory collective nounsone is a member of the "we" (the burdened taxpayer) or of the "ourselves" (those living off the proceeds of taxation)."

The invention of inflation-indexed bonds
11/25/03 Permlink | Bonds
"The world's first known inflation-indexed bonds were issued by the Commonwealth of Massachusetts in 1780 during the Revolutionary War. These bonds were invented to deal with severe wartime inflation and with angry discontent among soldiers in the U.S. Army with the decline in purchasing power of their pay. Although the bonds were successful, the concept of indexed bonds was abandoned after the immediate extreme inflationary environment passed, and largely forgotten until the twentieth century. In 1780, the bonds were viewed as at best only an irregular expedient, since there was no formulated economic theory to justify indexation."

In the long run we are all broke
11/22/03 Permlink | Bonds
"Investors have good reason to worry about states defaulting on their loans: Argentina and Russia provide chastening recent reminders. But both were dysfunctional economies with troubled political pasts. Surely, there is no need to worry about the indebtedness of the governments of stable, advanced countries?"

Your 'government' fund may hold hidden risk
10/28/03 Permlink | Bonds
"The Securities and Exchange Commission fired a broadside into the mutual fund mess last week, admonishing "government" bond funds to be more forthright in acknowledging the risks they take, notably by investing in mortgage-backed securities."

Bonds' thrills and spills
08/17/03 Permlink | Bonds
"It's summer, the stock markets are thriving and the most recent statements for your investment account show you're finally making money again. With all that good karma in the air, do you really need to worry about that shocking rout in the bond market in the past month?"

Why junk is bunk
07/11/03 Permlink | Bonds
"Like dot-com stocks in 1999, high-yield bonds are priced for perfection. There is no room for disappointment. But anyone who has looked at bankruptcy filings knows there is no such thing as perfection among heavily leveraged borrowers."

Today's high yield, tomorrow's headache
07/10/03 Permlink | Bonds
"Some investments with high yields promise current income but endanger your principal. It's best to watch total income instead. Here's how."

Short memories, deep pockets
06/15/03 Permlink | Bonds
"If the American economy falls back into recession, corporate spreads and defaults will obviously rise. The really troubling question for investors is whether they will do so if the economy picks up and interest rates rise to more normal levels. Either way, corporate bonds at current spreads look expensive. And so does Russia."

Know when to yield
06/08/03 Permlink | Bonds
"Go ahead and buy your own corporate bonds, but make sure you're not overpaying your broker"

You still need bonds, but they've had a good run
06/08/03 Permlink | Bonds
"This "bond bubble" thing is very confusing. You know you're supposed to have fixed income in your portfolio, and yet you keep reading about how bonds are dangerously overvalued."

US states face long-term budget shortfalls
05/29/03 Permlink | Bonds
"Concern over the worsening cash crunch and growing unease over the long-term outlook has driven the spread between yields on state and local municipal bonds and US Treasuries to seven-year highs and helped to put downward pressure on most state credit ratings. But another finding of the analysis is that credit ratings bear little or no statistical relationship with long-term imbalances."

Bonds away
05/13/03 Permlink | Bonds
"Investors have been rushing headlong into fixed income, but there are plenty of pitfalls to watch out for"

WorldCom's bankrupt argument
05/05/03 Permlink | Bonds
"Moravus, 29, who bought 1,000 shares at face value after the WorldCom acquisition, noted that WorldCom repeatedly said that the MCI QUIPS had a prior claim on MCI assets relative to other WorldCom debt. Because much of what is valuable at WorldCom appears to be at MCI, that promise would seem to indicate that the MCI debtors would be relatively secure even in a bankruptcy reorganization. But that isn't how it worked out after WorldCom collapsed in a wave of accounting fraud."

Awaiting inflation
05/05/03 Permlink | Bonds
"These veterans know that the bond market's reputation for absolute safety is undeserved. After all, there are plenty of instances in history where bond investors were fleeced. Investors lent money to the US government to finance World War II at rates of 2.5% for terms of between ten and twenty years in length. By doing so, they committed themselves to a 2.5% return on their money on the eve of a massive period of inflation. Those investors who held these bonds for the duration suffered major losses as inflation ate away at their savings."

The 'safe investments' that backfired
04/21/03 Permlink | Bonds
"Some savers are about to lose all of their original investment because of an apparently safe saving scheme - the so-called high income bonds."

Real Return Bonds: A Hedge Against Inflation
03/17/03 Permlink | Bonds
"Real Return Bonds have always been popular with institutional investors because many investment plans have mandates to provide inflation-protected returns over a long period for their members. Real Return Bonds provide an ideal hedge against inflation. Portfolio managers have allocated RRBs their own asset class category and have diverted between 5% and 10% of their plans' total portfolio to this relatively new investment category. However, individual investors have not had the same positive response to this new product, perhaps for the simple reason that they haven't been exposed to sufficient information about the characteristics of RRBs."

New view says 'debt deflation' to delay recovery
02/24/03 Permlink | Bonds
"He pointed out that all three periods had great excesses, corruption and misinvestment, and that all had ended with excess capacity, enormous debt and financial strain."

The dire state of the States
02/07/03 Permlink | Bonds
"For a couple of weeks late last year and early in 2003, investors were able to look past all the signs of economic weakness and see a light at the end of the tunnel. Sure, consumers were flagging and corporations retrenching. But once Iraq was over with (assuming a quick and not-too-dirty fight), the theory was that federal stimulus would kick in, chief executives would dust off their capital-spending plans, and Corporate America as well as individuals would suddenly feel better about investing in the future. That was the idea, anyway."

Pension threat to blue chip credit ratings
02/07/03 Permlink | Bonds
"Ten of Europe's biggest companies have been threatened with credit rating downgrades because of shortfalls in their pension funds"

The bankruptcy run isn't slowing
01/02/03 Permlink | Bonds
"Don't expect 2003 to be any better. With the economy still waiting for a lift, analysts at credit-rating outfits predict that roughly 1 in every 13 companies with noninvestment-grade debt, or 8%, will default and declare bankruptcy in the next 12 months. While that's about the same ratio as in 2002, it's double the average over the past 20 years."

Ontario Savings Bonds new variable rate
12/17/02 Permlink | Bonds
"The new interest rate for Variable-Rate Ontario Savings Bonds (OSBs), series 1997 through 2002, for the next six months will be 2.5%."

Don't go hungry in the coming yield famine
12/03/02 Permlink | Bonds
"Stalking yield is trickier than ever -- you need to build enough of the right kind of returns into your retirement portfolio so that you cut risk down to size. Here are some of your choices."

Doors now closing
10/24/02 Permlink | Bonds
"Yet evidence continues to grow that the supply of capital is being shut off, too. It is a process that started with the riskiest securities-that is, junk bonds and new issues of shares-but is now spreading to the safer parts of the credit markets, including those for bank loans and for high-grade corporate bonds."

Yields nearing zero put money funds in tight spot
10/08/02 Permlink | Bonds
"Rarely have so many earned so little from so much. That's the strange new plot line unfolding in one of the modern world's great financial success stories, money-market mutual funds."

Bond train has left the station
10/08/02 Permlink | Bonds
"Now not time to switch out of stocks. After watching stock markets drop six consecutive months, you've decided to throw in the towel and switch what's left of your battered equity fund portfolio to bond funds. Bad timing"

Creating a fixed-income portfolio
10/02/02 Permlink | Bonds
"Normally, the fixed-income approach to investing in your early financial life really just centres on having some liquid funds on hand for emergencies or saving for the downpayment on a house. However, as you get older, the higher risk of the equity market becomes something that has to be offset more and more by a bond portfolio. A bond portfolio can be designed to give more surety of annual income returns and much less of the volatility inherent in the equity market."

Canada Savings Bonds on sale
10/02/02 Permlink | Bonds
"Series 78 CSB's, which are on sale for the remainder of the month, will carry a 2% rate as of November 1, 2002. A release from the Department of Finance said the interest rate will be increased "if market conditions warrant." CSB's can be cashed anytime, but pay no interest if cashed in the first 90 days. Even though the Bank of Canada has raised interest rates three times this year, they remain near 40-year lows following nine cuts in 2001." -- ING's bank account pays 2.75% ...

Schools of higher earning
09/15/02 Permlink | Bonds
"University grads love to gripe about their student loans, but they've got nothing on their alma maters. Over the past 15 months, four Canadian universities have issued unsecured debt totaling three-quarters of a billion dollars."

Bill on Character
07/13/02 Permlink | Bonds
"Lending is not based primarily upon money or property. No sir. The first thing is character."

After the binge
04/20/02 Permlink | Bonds
"The financial condition of US business at the start of the economic recovery was probably worse than at any such juncture since the second world war, says the veteran Wall Street economist Henry Kaufman. From 1995 to 2001, he adds, the equity of non-financial corporations contracted by $423bn (#294bn) while net debt increased by $2,300bn."

Real return bonds for Canadian dummies
12/18/01 Permlink | Bonds
"RRBs can be difficult to understand, particularly because of the ongoing inflation-adjustments to their interest payments and market price, but also because of the way in which they are taxed."

Income bonds face collapse
09/30/01 Permlink | Bonds
The world of high finance hits some bond investors hard as derivative contracts devour capital.

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