Bond Vigilantes: Heroes or Villains? – November 2023 Commentary

Bruce Wayne and Peter Parker were seemingly ordinary citizens that took it upon themselves to correct wrongs they observed.  To most, they were viewed as heroes but others felt they were disruptive and no better than the criminals they were squaring off against.  In the last couple months, there is talk of bond vigilantes in the financial markets.  Who are they – blamed for exacting pain on both stocks and bonds?  Are they villains or heroes?  The term “bond vigilantes” was coined by analyst Ed Yardeni in 1983 to describe the role bond investors played in disciplining governments by issuing bonds to finance spending, that looked irresponsible.  At the time Yardeni wrote, “if the fiscal and monetary authorities won’t regulate the economy, the bond investors will.”  With both stocks and bonds suffering a 3rd consecutive month of pressure and significantly erasing what were nice YTD gains to end July, let’s pose the question: are bond vigilantes a hero or villain?

Continue reading