Mid-Year 2022 Capital Markets Update

Link: https://content.naic.org/sites/default/files/capital-markets-special-reports-mid-year-2022-update.pdf



The shape of the Treasury yield curve generally provides insight into the market’s expectations for
interest rates, as well as economic activity. As of June, the yield curve has shifted higher and flattened
compared to the beginning of the year and the last year. The Federal Reserve’s recent aggressive actions
have resulted in the higher Treasury rates and a flattening of the yield curve, as many investors believe
higher rates will push the U.S. economy into a recession. The yield curve also inverted briefly in midJune, which market participants view as a recession signal.

As of year-end 2021, U.S. insurers had exposure to about $316.3 billion in U.S. government bonds across
various maturities, or about 6% of total cash and invested assets. This was an increase from $280.6
billion at year-end 2020, but it was unchanged as a percentage of total cash and invested assets.

Author(s): Jennifer Johnson and Michele Wong

Publication Date: 23 June 2022

Publication Site: NAIC Capital Markets Special Report

Fitting Yield Curves to rates

Link: https://juliaactuary.org/tutorials/yield-curve-fitting/



Given rates and maturities, we can fit the yield curves with different techniques in Yields.jl.

Below, we specify that the rates should be interpreted as Continuously compounded zero rates:

using Yields

rates = Continuous.([0.01, 0.01, 0.03, 0.05, 0.07, 0.16, 0.35, 0.92, 1.40, 1.74, 2.31, 2.41] ./ 100)
mats = [1/12, 2/12, 3/12, 6/12, 1, 2, 3, 5, 7, 10, 20, 30]

Then fit the rates under four methods:

  • Nelson-Siegel
  • Nelson-Siegel-Svennson
  • Boostrapping with splines (the default Bootstrap option)
  • Bootstrapping with linear splines
ns =  Yields.Zero(NelsonSiegel(),                   rates,mats)
nss = Yields.Zero(NelsonSiegelSvensson(),           rates,mats)
b =   Yields.Zero(Bootstrap(),                      rates,mats)
bl =  Yields.Zero(Bootstrap(Yields.LinearSpline()), rates,mats)

That’s it! We’ve fit the rates using four different techniques. These can now be used in a variety of ways, such as calculating the present_valueduration, or convexity of different cashflows if you imported ActuaryUtilities.jl

Publication Date: 19 Jun 2022, accessed 22 Jun 2022

Publication Site: JuliaActuary

Despite Rising Bond Yields the Yield Curve is Still Flattening




Economists like to watch the 2-10 spread because that is one of the most reliable recession indicators.

Seemingly, inversions are far away, but that is mostly an illusion.

The 2-10 spread has been sinking like a rock. That spread was 1.58 percentage points on March 19, 2021 as shown in the lead chart. It’s now down to 0.61 percentage points.

If the Fed gets in as little as two hikes, the 2-10 spread will invert as it typically does before a recession. 

Of course, the 10-year yields may keep rising, but the problem is 2-year yields have risen faster. 

Author(s): Mike Shedlock

Publication Date: 8 Feb 2022

Publication Site: Mish Talk

Municipal bond yields rise, swept up in Treasuries surge

Link: https://www.reuters.com/article/usa-municipals-treasuries/muni-bond-yields-rise-swept-up-in-treasuries-surge-idUSL1N2KV2H1


Earlier this year, the $3.9 trillion market where states, cities, schools and other issuers sell debt had been resisting a steep sell off in Treasuries that lifted yields, putting the historically close correlation between the two markets out of whack.

Now, munis are catching up, with the 10-year yield on Municipal Market Data’s (MMD) benchmark triple-A scale, which started 2021 at 0.720%, climbing 45 basis points since Feb. 12. It closed up 5 basis points at 1.14% on Thursday.

The iShares National Municipal Bond exchange-traded fund (ETF) fell on Thursday to its lowest level since November at 115.14. The largest muni ETF, which reached an 11-month high of 117.95 on Feb. 11, was last down 0.43% at 115.30.

Author(s): Karen Pierog

Publication Date: 25 February 2021

Publication Site: Reuters

The Yield Curve Is the Steepest It Has Been in Years. Here’s What That Means for Investors.

Link: https://www.barrons.com/articles/the-yield-curve-is-the-steepest-it-has-been-in-years-heres-what-that-means-for-investors-51612462158?mod=hp_columnists


Long-term Treasury yields have been rising much faster than shorter-term yields, a sign that investors are betting on further acceleration in the U.S.’s economic recovery.

The steepness (or flatness) of the yield curve—the change in yields across different Treasury maturities—is seen as an indicator of economic growth. When the curve “inverts,” or long-term yields fall below short term yields, it is seen as a recession warning. Now the curve is getting steeper, a sign that investors expect stronger U.S. growth and inflation…

Author: Alexandra Scaggs

Publication Date: 4 February 2021

Publication Site: Barron’s