Tags: treasury | bubble | burst

Report: Treasuries Bubble Busted, Buy Munis Instead

Wednesday, 20 May 2009 10:17 AM

By Dan Weil

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The bubble has burst, Barron’s bond columnist Andrew Barry writes in the current issue.

But he’s not talking about real estate, he’s talking about Treasuries.

At the end of 2008, investors flocked to Treasuries, pushing the 10-year yield down to almost 2 percent. T-bill yield even turned negative briefly.

“Since then, the economy has shown signs of bottoming, the credit markets are functioning more normally, and the stock market has roared back from its March lows,” Barry points out.

“Treasuries now are in a bear market.”

And what’s happening elsewhere in bond land?

“Bullish enthusiasm has taken hold in other parts of the credit market, including corporate bonds, municipals and mortgage securities, all of which had fallen from favor late last year,” Barry writes.

Treasuries will likely continue to fall, as the government has to issue trillions of dollars of bonds to finance the bulging budget deficit. The deficit, of course, is growing thanks to the $787 billion fiscal stimulus package.

"There are better values elsewhere among high-quality bonds," Steve Rodosky, an executive vice president at Pimco, tells Barron’s.

For example, “high-grade, 30-year munis now look reasonable,” Barry notes. Even with the run-up in Treasury yields, “the 4.5 percent yield on triple-A-rated long-term bonds is slightly higher than the yield on the 30-year Treasury,” he explains.

Many agree with Barry about Treasuries. Pimco’s superstar fund manager Bill Gross told CNBC last month, “Treasuries are the most overvalued asset in the world, bar none."

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