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Unformatted text preview: ” All Things Considered (NPR),
November 6, 2001, downloaded from Electric
Library, ask.elibrary.com. In other words, for U.S. Treasury securities the nominal, or risk-free, rate for a
given maturity varies with the inflation expectation over the term of the security.5
EXAMPLE The nominal interest rate, RF, for four maturities of U.S. Treasury securities on
March 15, 2002, is given in column 1 of the following table. Assuming that the
real rate of interest is 1%, as noted in column 2, the inflation expectation for each
maturity in column 3 is found by solving Equation 6.4 for IPt. Although a 0.81%
rate of inflation was expected over the 3-month period beginning March 15,
2002, a 2.55% average rate of inflation was expected over the 2-year period, and
so on. An analysis of the inflation expectations in column 3 for March 15, 2002,
suggests that at that time a general expectation of increasing inflation existed.
Simply stated, the March 15, 2002, yield curve for U.S. Treasury securities shown 5. Although U.S. Treasury securities have no risk of default or illiquidity, they do suffer from “maturity, or interest
rate, risk”—the risk that interest rates will change in the future and thereby affect longer maturities more than
shorter maturities. Therefore, the longer the maturity of a Treasury (or any other) security, the greater its interest rate
risk. The impact of interest rate changes on bond values is discussed later in this chapter; here we ignore this effect. 270 PART 2 Important Financial Concepts in Figure 6.3 was upward-sloping as a result of the expectation that the rate of
inflation would increase in the future.6 Maturity, t Nominal interest
(1) Real interest
(3) 3 months 1.81% 1.00% 0.81% 2 years 3.55 1.00 2.55 5 years 4.74 1.00 3.74 30 years 5.90 1.00 4.90 Generally, under the expectations theory, an increasing inflation expectation
results in an upward-sloping yield curve; a decreasing inflation expectation results
in a downward-slo...
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