An Anatomy of a Sell Off - Taper Tantrum II

Bond land looks a little saner now that negative yields are disappearing from the Eurozone landscape. Those elevated prices never made any sense for real money investors, most of whom could not or would not buy bonds that would lock in a capital loss. That certainly is the hard reality for German insurance companies which collectively hold more German debt than any other institutions. Only hedge funds and trading desks that could leverage a carry trade at zero funding cost would bet that the carry would be worth the risk of capital loss. The ‘greater fool’ in this episode had to be the ECB whose belated and oversized asset purchase plans fomented this bond buying folly in the first place. Now bond prices have gone full circle back roughly to where they were prior to the buying frenzy in anticipation of the onset of the PSPP (ECB Euro-system public sector purchase program) in March.

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