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Optimal portfolio allocation in a world without Treasury securities

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  • Antulio N. Bomfim

Abstract

If current projections of future budget surpluses materialize, investing in Treasury securities--an asset class with which investors have long been familiar--could eventually become a thing of the past. In this paper, I examine the extent to which investors' portfolio allocation decisions are likely to be affected by the retirement of all federal government debt. The analysis suggests only small effects for most investors, especially, as is effectively the case for many institutional investors, when a no short sale constraint is in place. Under such circumstances, highly conservative investors--whose portfolios have risk-return characteristics akin to money market instruments--and very aggressive investors--who hold mostly equities--stand to be the least affected by the removal of Treasuries from the pool of investable assets. The analysis abstracts from indirect beneficial effects on investors from a Treasury debt payoff, such as the potential for greater productivity growth (and faster wealth accumulation) as more resources are freed up for investment in the private sector.

Suggested Citation

  • Antulio N. Bomfim, 2001. "Optimal portfolio allocation in a world without Treasury securities," Finance and Economics Discussion Series 2001-11, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
  • Handle: RePEc:fip:fedgfe:2001-11
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    6. Grossman, Sanford J. & Shiller, Robert J., 1982. "Consumption correlatedness and risk measurement in economies with non-traded assets and heterogeneous information," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 10(2), pages 195-210, July.
    7. Vincent Reinhart & Brian Sack, 2000. "The Economic Consequences of Disappearing Government Debt," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 31(2), pages 163-220.
    8. William F. Sharpe, 1964. "Capital Asset Prices: A Theory Of Market Equilibrium Under Conditions Of Risk," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 19(3), pages 425-442, September.
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    Keywords

    Debts; Public ; Corporate bonds ; Government securities;

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