‘This period, like the 1930-45 period, is a period in which I think you’d be pretty crazy to hold bonds.’
Ray Dalio, the billionaire founder of Bridgewater Associates, the world’s largest hedge fund, offered that warning in a Bloomberg webcast on Wednesday, arguing it made no sense to hold bonds when the Federal Reserve and other major central banks are effectively printing money at a rapid clip as part of their effort to backstop a global economy racked by the COVID-19 pandemic.
“If you’re holding a bond that gives you no interest rate, or a negative interest rate, and they’re producing a lot of currency and you’re going to receive that, why would you hold that bond?” Dalio asked.
Bond-buying by the Fed is seen contributing to a fall in Treasury yields this year. The yield on the 10-year Treasury note TMUBMUSD10Y, 0.637% was down 10 basis points at 0.64% on Wednesday. Yields have fallen sharply as the coronavirus pandemic forced the shutdown of most of the U.S. economy and other countries. Stocks plunged from record highs in February into a bear market before stabilizing late last month, to bounce off their March 23 lows.
Stocks were back under pressure Wednesday, with the Dow Jones Industrial Average DJIA, -1.86% down nearly 400 points, or 1.6%, and the S&P 500 falling 2%.
It’s a point Dalio has made before, including last week in a question-and-answer session on social-media platform Reddit, when he argued that the necessary round of stimulus measures would set the stage for an inflation rebound, eroding the real interest-rate returns on bonds.
Originally Published on MarketWatch
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