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Why Does the Treasury Issue Tips? The Tips-Treasury Bond Puzzle

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  • Matthias Fleckenstein
  • Francis A. Longstaff
  • Hanno Lustig

Abstract

We show that the price of a Treasury bond and an inflation-swapped TIPS issue exactly replicating the cash flows of the Treasury bond can differ by more than $20 per $100 notional. Treasury bonds are almost always overvalued relative to TIPS. Total TIPS-Treasury mispricing has exceeded $56 billion, representing nearly eight percent of the total amount of TIPS outstanding. TIPS-Treasury mispricing is strongly related to supply factors such as Treasury debt issuance and the availability of collateral in the financial markets, and is correlated with other types of fixed-income arbitrages, These results pose a major puzzle to classical asset pricing theory. In addition, they raise the issue of why the Treasury issues TIPS, since in so doing it both gives up a valuable fiscal hedging option and leaves large amounts of money on the table.

Suggested Citation

  • Matthias Fleckenstein & Francis A. Longstaff & Hanno Lustig, 2010. "Why Does the Treasury Issue Tips? The Tips-Treasury Bond Puzzle," NBER Working Papers 16358, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:16358
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    Cited by:

    1. Yuriy Kitsul & Jonathan H. Wright, 2012. "The Economics of Options-Implied Inflation Probability Density Functions," Economics Working Paper Archive 600, The Johns Hopkins University,Department of Economics.
    2. Jens H. E. Christensen & James M. Gillan, 2011. "A model-independent maximum range for the liquidity correction of TIPS yields," Working Paper Series 2011-16, Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco.
    3. Arvind Krishnamurthy & Annette Vissing-Jorgensen, 2011. "The Effects of Quantitative Easing on Interest Rates: Channels and Implications for Policy," NBER Working Papers 17555, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    4. Stefan Waldenberger, 2015. "The affine inflation market models," Papers 1503.04979, arXiv.org.
    5. Faust, Jon & Wright, Jonathan H., 2013. "Forecasting Inflation," Handbook of Economic Forecasting, Elsevier.
    6. Olena Chyruk & Luca Benzoni & Andrea Ajello, 2012. "Core and `Crust': Consumer Prices and the Term Structure of Interest Rates," 2012 Meeting Papers 922, Society for Economic Dynamics.
    7. Bryan Kelly & Hanno Lustig & Stijn Van Nieuwerburgh, 2016. "Too-Systemic-to-Fail: What Option Markets Imply about Sector-Wide Government Guarantees," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 106(6), pages 1278-1319, June.
    8. John H. Cochrane, 2011. "Discount Rates," NBER Working Papers 16972, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    9. Iryna Kaminska & Dimitri Vayanos & Gabriele Zinna, 2011. "Preferred-Habitat Investors and the US Term Structure of Real Rates," FMG Discussion Papers dp674, Financial Markets Group.
    10. Yuriy Kitsul & Jonathan H. Wright, 2012. "The Economics of Options-Implied Inflation Probability Density Functions," NBER Working Papers 18195, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    11. Cartea, Álvaro & Saúl, Jonatan & Toro, Juan, 2012. "Optimal portfolio choice in real terms: Measuring the benefits of TIPS," Journal of Empirical Finance, Elsevier, vol. 19(5), pages 721-740.
    12. Annette Vissing-Jorgensen & Arvind Krishnamurthy, 2011. "The Effects of Quantitative Easing on Long-term Interest Rates," 2011 Meeting Papers 1447, Society for Economic Dynamics.
    13. Michael J. Fleming & Neel Krishnan, 2012. "The microstructure of the TIPS market," Economic Policy Review, Federal Reserve Bank of New York, issue Mar, pages 27-45.
    14. Dong Lou & Hongjun Yan & Jinfan Zhang, 2013. "Anticipated and Repeated Shocks in Liquid Markets," Review of Financial Studies, Society for Financial Studies, vol. 26(8), pages 1891-1912.
    15. Robert Engle & Michael J. Fleming & Eric Ghysels & Giang Nguyen, 2012. "Liquidity, volatility, and flights to safety in the U.S. treasury market: evidence from a new class of dynamic order book models," Staff Reports 590, Federal Reserve Bank of New York.
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    17. Fontana, Alessandro & Scheicher, Martin, 2016. "An analysis of euro area sovereign CDS and their relation with government bonds," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 62(C), pages 126-140.
    18. repec:wsi:gcrxxx:v:02:y:2012:i:01:n:s2010493612500055 is not listed on IDEAS
    19. Jonathan Wright & Yuriy Kitsul, 2012. "The Economics of Options-Implied Inflation Probability Density Functions," 2012 Meeting Papers 174, Society for Economic Dynamics.
    20. Boons, M.F., 2014. "Sorting out commodity and macroeconomic risk in expected stock returns," Other publications TiSEM 1ebdac58-bf37-499d-8835-1, Tilburg University, School of Economics and Management.
    21. Emmanuel Mamatzakis & Panos Remoundos, 2012. "What are the Driving Factors Behind the Rise of Spreads and CDS of Eurozone Sovereign Bonds? A Panel VAR Analysis," Global Credit Review (GCR), World Scientific Publishing Co. Pte. Ltd., vol. 2(01), pages 79-94.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • E6 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Macroeconomic Policy, Macroeconomic Aspects of Public Finance, and General Outlook
    • G12 - Financial Economics - - General Financial Markets - - - Asset Pricing; Trading Volume; Bond Interest Rates
    • G14 - Financial Economics - - General Financial Markets - - - Information and Market Efficiency; Event Studies; Insider Trading

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