Wednesday, December 14, 2011

10 Year U.S. Treasuries Down to 1.9% Despite Dysfunctional Government and Trillion Dollar Deficits

It would be hard for me to imaging an investment that is more likely to be a loser before reaching maturity than buying 10 Year U.S. Treasury notes that only pay an interest rate of 1.9%. The low rates on the 10 Year Note shows how few other attractive investments are available.

It seems bizarre that the gridlock in Congress over votes to continue a payroll tax cut, extend long-term jobless benefits, and fund the government to avoid yet another shutdown and being ignored by buyers of U.S. Treasuries.

Higher interest rates will almost certainly be required to fund the U.S. debt at some point during the next ten years, and the value of Treasury notes move inversely to interest rates. A healthy growing economy will lead to higher interest rates, as will a stagnant economy the runs up huge deficits due to social welfare spending.

Buying U.S. Treasuries at these low rates probably only makes sense for foreign buyers that expect their currencies to decline against the U.S. dollar. They might be a good short term vehicle for European's to park cash, but they are likely to be a horrible investment for U.S. investors that are paying dollars for the notes.

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