Bloomberg reports: “Treasury Bears Capitulate as Fed Buying Meets Cliff Worry”.
Until last month, Donald Ellenberger, who manages $10 billion for Federated Investors Inc., shunned Treasuries as the U.S. economy improved and 10- year notes yielded less than inflation. Now, he can’t afford to stay out.
Ellenberger has plenty of company. Bond bears from Brown Brothers Harriman & Co. to T. Rowe Price Group Inc. are buying Treasuries though the 1.69 percent yield on 10-year notes is less than the rate of inflation and returns on the $10.9 trillion of marketable debt are the least in three years.
The combination of Federal Reserve efforts to stimulate the economy by buying bonds and the potential slowdown should politicians fail to avert the so-called fiscal cliff of tax increases and spending cuts has made Treasuries the debt that money managers have to own. Even investors who shun Treasuries don’t see 10-year note yields rising much above 2 percent.
The contrarian investor has to ask: Is this a sign of a top in US Treasuries?