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The long goodbye

After September 11, many market watchers reckoned that higher US public expenditure meant that reports of the demise of the 30-year treasury were exaggerated. Then, at the end of October, came the news of a suspension of long-bond issues. Opinions are divided on the wisdom and likely results of the surprise move and on when the 30-year bond will wake up from its big sleep.

       
The US Treasury: has always faced pressures
to cut back on long-term securities

Washington was in no mood to party on October 31, when the US Treasury halted auctions of its bellwether 30-year bond. An outpouring of self-congratulatory rejoicing and mirth from the political pooh-bahs would ordinarily greet such an announcement. But the spectacle of an industry consultant, Pete Davis, leaking the news 30 minutes before the end of the press embargo made a hash of the event.

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