Tracing Treasury Liquidity Lower: Once the Ball Starts Rolling, It’s Hard To Stop

It’s been—to put it mildly—an interesting week in the US Treasury market. The front end of the curve whipsawed dramatically, with the two-year yield plunging 109 basis points in three days of trading (a move not seen since 1987)[i] as markets questioned the stability of the banking system. Many leveraged players had been positioned for higher fed funds rates. When the market shifted and began to price in rate cuts later this year, many of those participants rushed for the door at the same time, triggering the huge moves.

Volatility and liquidity tend to be inversely correlated, so these market vacillations have impaired Treasury liquidity. It’s an important dynamic to understand, as we expect outsized moves in Treasurys and challenging liquidity conditions to persist until markets are confident the banking system is stable. Here, we’ll break down an example of how volatility spikes can drain liquidity from the system and why once the ball starts rolling, it can be hard to stop.


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[i] Source: Bloomberg. The two-year Treasury fell from 5.07% on 8 March 2023 to 3.98% on 13 March 2023, a fall of 109 basis points in three business days.


Markets are extremely fluid and change frequently.

Past market experience is no guarantee of future results.

This blog post is provided for informational purposes only and should not be construed as investment advice. Any opinions or forecasts contained herein reflect the subjective judgments and assumptions of the authors only and do not necessarily reflect the views of Loomis, Sayles & Company, L.P. Information, including that obtained from outside sources, is believed to be correct, but Loomis Sayles cannot guarantee its accuracy. This material cannot be copied, reproduced or redistributed without authorization. This information is subject to change at any time without notice. Market conditions are extremely fluid and change frequently.




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Loomis Sayles analysts are career professionals who offer deep knowledge and experience in a diversity of global asset classes and market sectors. These dedicated experts provide the insight essential to supporting our portfolio management teams across a wide range of investment strategies.

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