Yields on short-term Treasuries have recently reached new heights, creating new fears that long-term borrowing costs could rise as well. As of February 2nd, short-term yields on US treasuries sat 2.825 percent, the highest since 2014.
So why are these rising bond yields causing so much panic among investors? Their primary concern is related to inflation and the potential for steep rate increases by the Fed.
Steady job growth may be a sign of rising inflation. The rising rate of employment indicated in the recent January jobs report has many concerned that the Fed will raise interest rates to reduce the risk of inflation.
The Fed usually raises interest rates when the economy overheats, increasing borrowing costs to keep up with inflation. The Fed also raises interest rates when it expects inflation in the near future, which has many investors worried.
Investors are wary the danger of steep increase in commercial loan rates
A fundamental question is why investors are so concerned about inflation? The perception that inflation will soon rise rapidly could entail immediate interest rate increases by the Fed. Drastic rate increases in response to potential inflation would obviously hamper any recent economic growth due to higher borrowing costs.
The historically low bond yields of recent years have made risky investments like stocks more attractive. Bond yields impact the cost of borrowing throughout the economy. If bond yields rise too sharply, companies will have the added burden of higher borrowing costs. Should the Fed rapidly raise interest rates, these riskier investments will become considerably more volatile, which could explain the recent stock sell-off.The anticipated steep rate increases by the Fed would have a clear negative impact on corporate performance. A mismatch between the “real” cost of borrowing and long-term bond yields is also raising concerns among investors.
Investors note the danger that attempts by the Fed to raise commercial loan rates and control inflation may not be enough
The fact that long-term borrowing costs have remained low has spawned the greater fear that perhaps is the Fed may not be able to raise rates sufficiently to control inflation. Some are noting the disparity between Fed rates and real long-term borrowing costs. In the past year yields on short-term Treasuries have risen in line with Fed interest rate increases. However, the yields on long-term Treasuries have remained low or unchanged.
Some fear that in the face of rising inflation the Fed could overreact and dramatically raise rates to regain control of the situation.
Still investors panic about the risk of inflation may be premature. The relationship between employment growth and inflation, known as the Phillips Curve, has not matched economic data. Inflation has been relatively moderate of late in spite of recent robust job growth. The Fed could still hold off on the rate increases many investors expect.
These concerns remain speculative the time being and rarely is sound investment strategy founded on speculation.
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About the Author: Dennis has been working in the real estate industry in some capacity for the last 40 years. He purchased his first property when he was just 18 years old. He quickly learned about the amazing investment opportunities provided by trust deed investing and hard money loans. His desire to help others make money in real estate investing led him to specialize in alternative funding for real estate investors who may have trouble getting a traditional bank loan. Dennis is passionate about alternative funding sources and sharing his knowledge with others to help make their dreams come true. Dennis has been married to his wonderful wife for 42 years. They have 2 beautiful daughters 5 amazing grandchildren. Dennis has been an Arizona resident for the past 40 years.