I’m leery of “Wall Street experts,” but James Grant makes, I think, an interesting point when he discusses the wisdom of investing in government treasury bonds.
“Sovereign debt is my nomination for the number one overvalued market around the world. You are earning nothing or less than nothing for the privilege of lending your money to a government that has pledged to depreciate the currency that you’re investing in. The central banks of the world are striving to achieve a rate of inflation of 2% or more and you are lending certainly at much less than 2% and in many cases at less than nominal 0%. The experience of losing money is common in investing. But where is the certitude of loss even before your check clears? That’s the situation with sovereign debt right now.”
He does not go into the perfidy of governments paying less than 1% on the money you lend them while deliberately devaluing that money at an annual 2% rate. Who is served by such a policy? Yes. Bankers.
The whole thing is worth reading, especially the part about the Swiss National Bank buying American equities using Swiss francs which they “create from the thin alpine air where the Swiss money grows.” Unlike the American Fed money which is created from the humid, heavy air at sea level.