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

  • Matthias Fleckenstein
  • Francis A. Longstaff
  • Hanno Lustig

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.

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Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 16358.

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Date of creation: Sep 2010
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Publication status: published as The TIPS—Treasury Bond Puzzle* The Journal of Finance Accepted manuscript online: 30 JAN 2013, Matthias Fleckenstein, Francis A. Longstaff and Hanno Lustig DOI: 10.1111/jofi.12032
Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:16358
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