Bonds soared during the recent stock plunge, with the 10-year Treasury yield dropping to a four-month low of 1.91 percent Aug. 24 from 2.2 percent Aug. 18.
But already the yield has rebounded to 2.18 percent, and more pain may be in the offing for bondholders, says New York Post columnist John Crudele
Eventually, the Federal Reserve will raise short-term interest rates from their record lows. And, "the last time the bond market collapsed was when Fed Chairman Paul Volcker jammed rates higher to control runaway inflation in the early 1980s," Crudele writes.
Bonds have rallied since then. "Because bonds have done so well for so long, this may be the Mother of All Bubbles," he says. A Fed rate hike might represent the pin to burst the bubble.
"That may be a doomsday scenario, but it is one you might want to think about," Crudele explains. "Bonds are like the mousey person in the back of the room who can suddenly go kaboom!" Crudele writes.
To be sure, not everyone is negative on bonds.
"Bond bears have misread economic growth. They have misread inflation data," Bob Andres, chief investment officer of Andres Capital Management, told The Wall Street Journal
. “I think the U.S. economy will be in a slow-growth mode for longer than most observers believe.”
While GDP grew a stronger-than-expected 3.7 percent in the second quarter, the Atlanta Fed's forecasting model puts third-quarter growth at just 1.4 percent. Meanwhile, the Fed's favored inflation gauge rose only 0.3 percent in the 12 months through June. That's far below the central bank's target of 2 percent.
As for the Fed, many experts maintain it should refrain from boosting rates now amid the financial market turmoil. Former Treasury Secretary Larry Summers is one of them.
"A reasonable assessment of current conditions suggests that raising rates in the near future would be a serious error that would threaten all three of the Fed’s major objectives: price stability, full employment and financial stability," the Harvard professor writes in The Washington Post
Unemployment held at a seven-year low of 5.3 percent in July.
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