Wage pressure is only cloud on inflation horizon.
The new year has started with a disappointing thud rather than the liquidity induced bang expected by the consensus.
Wage inflation looked like it was finally taking off in October, but November's data showed a different picture, as four of the nine subsets (including Total Wage inflation) moved lower.
In November, long and short rates did not move together, but in December they sure did.
For several years now, this publication’s focus has been on long 20-year bonds, while many clients owning bonds maintain average 6-7 year maturities. Herein, we compare future performance of long and short bonds over several time horizons in a variety of projected interest rate environments, including projected parity levels for the stock market.
Back to the Basics? We think individual stock analysis is becoming increasingly important… Tax Simplification Coming Soon: The 1984 additions to the tax laws (over 1300 pages) may be the last straw… A Potential Shortage in Treasury Bonds: I know this sounds absurd. However, in the upcoming financing, the Treasury is for the first time offering a 20-year bond that is callable in five years.
The clock is ticking down, but we don’t know when the upside explosion will take place. It might even occur before the 1984 elections. Whatever, the investment rewards will be rich indeed. Should investors really run the risk of being out of the bond market? Really, the downside risk, considering the earning power of the coupons, is probably negligible. But the potential rewards are mouthwatering.
The bond market is in the midst of both secular and cyclical bull moves. The cyclical bull market target zone is 9% yields for T-Bonds in the next 12-18 months, maybe much lower on a secular basis. The current correction has carried to our buying zone and we are continuing last month’s new buy program in long T-Bonds.
Merrill Lynch was first but the rush is on, stripping existing T-Bonds of their coupons, repackaging and selling coupons and principal separately. While perhaps priced too high for sharp pencil pushers, to us they look like a very good investment. Corporate “zeros” should, however, be viewed very cautiously.
Dedicated portfolios, TIGR types, long-term bond buy and holders and bond traders soaking up the government financing like so many sponges. For long-term T-Bonds at least, the demand may be greater than the supply for a while, creating a premium situation. It’s hard to believe a T-Bond could become an investment rarity, but these are strange times.