¿Hasta qué punto resulta aterrador el mercado de bonos?

NEW HAVEN – Los precios de los bonos estatales a largo plazo han estado muy altos en los últimos años (es decir, que sus réditos han sido muy bajos). En los Estados Unidos, el rendimiento de los bonos del tesoro a treinta años había alcanzado un nivel bajo sin precedentes (desde que comenzó la serie de la Reserva Federal en 1972) de 2,25 por ciento el 30 del pasado mes de enero. El rendimiento del bono estatal del Reino Unido a treinta años bajó hasta el 2,04 por ciento el mismo día. El bono estatal japonés a veinte años rendía tan sólo 0,87 por ciento el 20 de enero.

Después, todos esos rendimientos han aumentado ligeramente, pero siguen siendo excepcionalmente bajos. Parece desconcertante –e insostenible– que las personas dejen inmovilizado su dinero durante veinte o treinta años para ganar poco o nada más que la tasa de inflación anual del dos por ciento fijada por esos bancos centrales. De modo, que, como el mercado parece a punto de experimentar una corrección espectacular, muchos se preguntan si un desplome podría hacer bajar los mercados de los activos a largo plazo, como, por ejemplo, la vivienda y las acciones.

Se trata de una pregunta que me formulan repetidas veces en seminarios y conferencías. Al fin y al cabo, los participantes en los mercados de la vivienda y las acciones fijan los precios teniendo en cuenta los precios del mercado de bonos, por lo que el contagio de un mercado a largo plazo a otro parece una posibilidad real.

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