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Tuesday, July 17, 2007

There's Always Something To Distract Investors

by Tanta on 7/17/2007 07:32:00 AM

From the Wall Street Journal:

A record low on a closely watched derivative index that measures risk of home loans made to borrowers with patchy credit histories pushed U.S. Treasurys sharply higher as investors sought a haven for their funds.

A lack of economic data meant there was little to distract investors, but concerns continue to deepen that subprime woes will spread further to the far corners of the credit markets. . . .

The decline in the BBB-minus portion of the index encouraged some investors to snap up U.S. Treasurys, pushing the 10-year benchmark note back toward the key psychological level of 5%.

Some investors fear the drag of subprime mortgages will eventually hurt the broader economy and other asset classes not directly linked to such loans. Those concerns have boosted Treasurys on and off for the past month.

Treasurys yesterday were "at the feet of subprime," said William O'Donnell, rates strategist at UBS. The market's reaction is surprising, however, said Mr. O'Donnell, who thought investors had already "come to grips" with a declining index. "But I guess people are still on tenterhooks" about anything subprime related, he said.

Does the WSJ's style manual really say that the plural of Treasury is "Treasurys"?

I know that there are so many barbarians at the gate right about now (stunning, but not surprising; having come to grips but still on tenterhooks) that it may seem a bit precious to get worked up over elementary school topics like spelling. But in my little far corner of the credit markets Treasuries are still Treasuries, at the feet of subprime or anywhere else.