For immediate release: February 25, 2008

Bond-Yield Conundrum Examined in Dallas Fed's Economic Letter

DALLAS—The bond-yield conundrum is closely linked to a decline in the volatility of long-term bond prices, according to the February issue of the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas' Economic Letter.

The February Economic Letter can be found at: www.dallasfed.org/research/eclett/2008/el0802.html

In “Accounting for the Bond-Yield Conundrum,” senior economist Tao Wu uses a macro–finance model to examine the phenomenon of falling long-term interest rates during periods of tightening in monetary policy.

The fall in implied volatility of longer-term Treasuries is a major contributor to the bond-yield conundrum, according to Wu. Declines in the uncertainty of real GDP growth also may be a factor. Foreign official purchases of Treasury securities appear to play little or no role in the conundrum.

Much of the conundrum remains unexplained, Wu writes. Other factors not used in the model, such as pension fund reforms or changes in risk appetites, may play a role.

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