Why Are Other Yields Falling as the Treasury Bond Yield Rises?

By: Paul Kasriel | Tue, Jun 9, 2009
Print Email

There is a lot in the press these days about how the recent rise in Treasury bond yields has the potential to abort a nascent economic recovery. To this I say, nonsense! Chart 1 shows that as the Treasury bond yield has risen in recent weeks, the yields on privately-issued debt have declined in absolute levels. Chart 2 shows that the stock market has been trending higher since March as the Treasury bond yield has risen.

Chart 1

Chart 2

This combination of a rise in the Treasury bond yield, declines in yields on privately-issued bonds and rising stock prices is consistent with an asset allocation shift away from an asset with no credit risk to assets with credit risk. How can this lessen the chances of an economic recovery? If the current and increased supply of Treasury debt coming to market were "crowding out" private debt issuance, then the yields on privately-issued debt would be holding steady or rising in tandem with the rise in the Treasury bond yield. But again, yields on privately-issued debt are falling. In sum, investor risk appetite is returning, which is a good thing for the prospects of an economic recovery, not a bad thing.



Paul Kasriel

Author: Paul Kasriel

Paul L. Kasriel
Director of Economic Research
The Northern Trust Company
Economic Research Department
Positive Economic Commentary
"The economics of what is, rather than what you might like it to be."
50 South LaSalle Street, Chicago, Illinois 60675

Paul Kasriel

Paul joined the economic research unit of The Northern Trust Company in 1986 as Vice President and Economist, being named Senior Vice President and Director of Economic Research in 2000. His economic and interest rate forecasts are used both internally and by clients. The accuracy of the Economic Research Department's forecasts has consistently been highly-ranked in the Blue Chip survey of about 50 forecasters over the years. To that point, Paul received the prestigious 2006 Lawrence R. Klein Award for having the most accurate economic forecast among the Blue Chip survey participants for the years 2002 through 2005. The accuracy of Paul's 2008 economic forecast was ranked in the top five of The Wall Street Journal survey panel of economists. In January 2009, The Wall Street Journal and Forbes cited Paul as one of the few who identified early on the formation of the housing bubble and foresaw the economic and financial market havoc that would ensue after the bubble inevitably burst. Through written commentaries containing his straightforward and often nonconsensus analysis of economic and financial market issues, Paul has developed a loyal following in the financial community. The Northern's economic website was listed as one of the top ten most interesting by The Wall Street Journal. Paul is the co-author of a book entitled Seven Indicators That Move Markets.

Paul began his career as a research economist at the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago. He has taught courses in finance at the DePaul University Kellstadt Graduate School of Business and at the Northwestern University Kellogg Graduate School of Management. Paul serves on the Economic Advisory Committee of the American Bankers Association.

The opinions expressed herein are those of the author and do not necessarily represent the views of The Northern Trust Company. The information herein is based on sources which The Northern Trust Company believes to be reliable, but we cannot warrant its accuracy or completeness. Such information is subject to change and is not intended to influence your investment decisions.

Copyright © 2005-2012 The Northern Trust Company

All Images, XHTML Renderings, and Source Code Copyright © Safehaven.com