Godzilla Alert! Trillion-Dollar Monster Lurks as Bonds Price Out Duration Risk (Historic High Risk!)

So much for MMT (modern monetary theory) where deficits and debt don’t matter. Size and quality of debt DOES matter. Just look at the interest rate risk of staggering debt loads, not to mention the credit risk!

(Bloomberg) — Investors riding easy-money policies are breeding a trillion-dollar monster in the bond market, the likes of which has never been seen in decades of history.

Wall Street will tell you it’s low risk for now — one that’s been hyped-up for years. But on the current trajectory, just a modest bump in yields near record lows could inflict a world of pain for traders all over the globe.

Dovish monetary bets, relentless demand for safe assets and conviction in the lowflation era are spurring money managers to gorge on long-maturity bonds, or duration risk.

One measure of the relative compensation investors receive to hold longer-dated obligations is a whisker away from a 58-year low. Over in Europe, they’re taking a century of risk for yields barely above 1% in order to escape a $13 trillion global stockpile of negative debt.

All that is leaving duration, a measure of sensitivity to interest-rate changes, near all-time highs across sovereign debt markets. As hopes rise of a U.S.-China breakthrough on trade, bond bulls could suddenly find themselves on the backfoot.

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And the interest rate volatility cube seems to be giving the middle finger to investors.

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Debt now emerges as the new Godzilla in the room.

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Grim Fandango! U.S. 2-Year Swap Spread Turns Negative (First Time Ever!!)

As central banks like the US Federal Reserve try to counter a sagging global economy (and preserve asset bubbles), strange things begin to happen. Like the US 2-year swap spread going negative for the first time ever!

(Bloomberg) — The U.S. 2-year swap rate moved below the 2-year Treasury note’s yield for the first time ever Tuesday after 3-month dollar Libor’s latest drop, turning the 2-year swap spread negative. It was the last tenor on the swap spread curve to fall below zero.

Currently around -0.25bp, 2-year spreads dropped as low as -0.5bp, tighter on the day by 1bp; spread is tighter by ~12.5bp since the start of May

  • 3-month dollar Libor fixed lower by 2.16bp at 2.31125 Tuesday, lowest since August 2018
  • A combination of higher general collateral rates, overseas selling and hedging flows have weighed on front-end spreads over the past couple of months;

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Here is the US Dollar Swap Curve and the Swap Spread curve.

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Is this a Grim Fandango?

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