Monetary Cycles and the Fixed Income Market – How Does the Slope Affect Returns?

In an earlier blog post, we provided a brief survey of recent monetary policy cycles in the U.S., showing that a higher Fed funds rate doesn’t necessarily affect the yield on Treasury bonds in the same way.  Policy rate changes affects short-term bond yields much more directly than longer-term yields (see Exhibit 1).  We argued that the difference in impact is likely a result of other macroeconomic factors that affect longer-term rates and segmentation in the market.  In this follow up note, we focus our attention on the shape of the yield curve and returns over various tightening cycles.

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