The Looming Shortage in Government Bonds

by Norman Mogil
Sober Look

Ever since the 2008 financial crisis, there has been a persistent shortage of high-quality government debt. More than just a safe haven in times of financial stress— the so-called ‘flight to quality’ — the supply of high- quality sovereign debt has been steadily shrinking. This shortage became acutely apparent with the results of the Brexit referendum as investors worldwide bid up bond prices to the point where most long term bond yields reached historic lows in the US, UK , Germany and Japan. Brexit only exacerbated a shortage problem that bond investors have had to contend with for nearly a decade. The current squeeze in supply is just the latest manifestation of this wider issue in today’s financial markets.

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