Fixed Income in a Financial Crisis (A): US Treasuries in November 208

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Fixed Income in a Financial Crisis (A): US Treasuries in November 2008

Academic Year 2013/2014

Executive Summary

In the first part of our report, we investigate if a 35 basis points yield spread represents mispricing of two bonds, both with the same maturity but one with a coupon rate of 10.625% and the other 4.25%. Our investigation also determines if the yield spread represents an arbitrage opportunity. In our investigation, we calculate the theoretical yield spread between the two bonds and compare the figure with the observed yield spread. It is cited in the case that the observed yield spread could be due to different liquidity premium for each bond or simply due to different durations. Through our calculations, we discover
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Through this method, we obtained theoretical yields of the 4.25% coupon bond and 10.625% coupon bond to be 2.899% and 2.639% respectively. The corresponding theoretical prices of the bonds are $108.27 for the 4.25% coupon bond and $149.31 for the 10.625% coupon bond (see Table 1 above).
Comparing each bond’s theoretical yield and price to its actual yield and price, we find that both bonds are underpriced. However, this alone is insufficient to conclude that an arbitrage opportunity exists, since our calculated theoretical prices ignore the effects of liquidity premium. As, in this exercise, we are unable to calculate what the true liquidity premium for each bond should be, we consequently do not have a true price for each bond to compare with and ascertain whether each bond is underpriced (ie. both the theoretical and actual prices may not be the true price). Nonetheless, we have calculated the implied liquidity premium for each bond as the difference between the theoretical yield and actual yield (see Table 1 above).
Yield Spread
To better determine if an arbitrage opportunity exists, the theoretical and actual yield spreads of both bonds can be compared. This determines whether both bonds are properly priced relative to each other, eliminating the need to have true prices for both bonds to determine if each bond is rightly priced. Based on our

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