Bond investors seeking top-rated securities face fewer alternatives to Treasuries, allowing President Barack Obama to sell unprecedented sums of debt at ever lower rates to finance a $1.47 trillion deficit.
While net issuance of Treasuries will rise by $1.2 trillion this year, the net supply of corporate bonds, mortgage-backed securities and debt tied to consumer loans may recede by $1.3 trillion, according to Jeffrey Rosenberg, a fixed-income strategist at Bank of America Merrill Lynch in New York.
Shrinking credit markets help explain why some Treasury yields are at record lows even after the amount of marketable government debt outstanding increased by 21 percent from a year earlier to $8.18 trillion. Last week, the U.S. government auctioned $34 billion of three-year notes at a yield of 0.844 percent, the lowest ever for that maturity.
Ã¢â‚¬Å“The number-one fixed-income conundrum is Ã¢â‚¬ËœWhere do I go?Ã¢â‚¬â„¢Ã¢â‚¬Â said Mitchell Stapley, the chief fixed-income officer for Fifth Third Asset Management, who oversees $22 billion in assets. In credit markets, Ã¢â‚¬Å“the supply of sleep-at-night quality bonds has just collapsed,Ã¢â‚¬Â he said in an interview from Grand Rapids, Michigan.
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