On a day that rates were falling in the U.S. after a wretched jobs report, former Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan was warning that investor opinions could turn quickly against excessive deficits and drive interest rates sharply higher.
In the wake of the May employment data, which showed just 69,000 nonfarm jobs were created in the U.S., a much worse reading than analysts and traders expected, yields on Treasury debt were lower across the board. The 10-year note was recently yielding 1.486% and the 30-year bond was at 2.577%, according to FactSet.
Greenspan, speaking on CNBC, expressed concern that the economy could begin to follow a track like it did in the second half of the Carter administration -- not exactly anyone's view of vibrant times for the U.S.'s financials. Then, the 10-year was yielding about 9% before bolting higher.
"I listen to a lot of what people say that we don't have to worry. We can do it in our own time," Greenspan said in reference to lowering the $1.2 trillion budget deficit, a CNBC summary of his comments said. "Good luck. The markets have not been told this."
Rising yields in European Union nations, notably in places such as Greece, Italy and Spain, in the past few months have caused considerable angst in the markets. In the U.S., rates have remained low despite government stimulus efforts that inflation hawks say inevitably will have to lead to higher borrowing costs.
Check out the link above for more of Greenspan's thoughts on rates.
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