Thursday, July 20, 2023

Curious Side Effect of Possible Federal Default?

The scale of the growing interest payments for the Federal Government is a source of some concern.  I suspect that concern about imminent default, even on just interest payments, would cause what is sometimes called a "flight to quality," in which you sell bonds that are not considered of high quality and buy bonds likely to not default.  This means the value of the bonds you sell will drop not just for you but all bondholders.  This has the counterintuitive effect of driving up interest rates, aggravating the U.S. Government's problems. 

Evidence: bond values have fallen 13% for the year.

What you do buy?  I suspect municipal bonds of states run by adults, like Idaho.  

I also wonder if the current runup in stock prices is because of this.  My IRA has risen 24% this year.

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