Talk of a bubble in U.S. Treasury bonds simply won’t die.
For example, a top story making the rounds online Tuesday was an article at The Street penned by Jeff Nielson wondering how Treasury bond prices can be so high when there is so much supply. His theory is that Federal Reserve chief Ben Bernanke is “secretly (and illegally) counterfeiting U.S. dollars — and using those bogus dollars to prop up the U.S. Treasury market.”
Controversial stuff, for sure.
Today I was on Chuck Jaffe’s MoneyLife show talking about ETFs and a listener asked if iShares Barclays 20+ Year Treasury Bond (NYSEArca: TLT) is a buy, sell or hold. [Inverse Treasury ETFs for Rising Interest Rates]
Of course, some long-term investors use Treasury ETFs for asset allocation to anchor the bond side of their portfolios.
Treasury bears say that yields are so low that investors aren’t being compensated for the risks of holding Treasuries. These risks include inflation, higher interest rates, the U.S. deficit and elevated debt-to-GDP figures.
However, investors have been talking about a bubble in Treasury bonds for literally years, and yet prices keep rising and yields keep falling to new record lows. Yields on the 10-year note are hovering around 1.6%.
‘You could get a lot less in yield’
Barry Ritholtz, chief executive officer of FusionIQ, and David Rosenberg, chief economist and strategist at Gluskin Sheff, addressed the idea of a bond bubble in an interesting Bloomberg Television appearance posted Tuesday.