The “forecast” for future U.S. dollar interest rate swap rates is derived from the maximum smoothness forward rate approach, but it is applied to the forward credit spread between the libor-swap curve (also reported in the H15 release) and U.S. Treasury curve instead of to the absolute level of forward rates for the libor-swap curve.
This week’s projections for the 1 month Treasury bill rate (investment basis) are smoother than last week, particularly in the short and intermediate terms as shown in the graph below. A sharper increase in the immediate future is projected, stemming from a significant drop in the current 1 month rate. The greatest changes in the weekly projections are decreases of 8 and 14 basis points in the second and fifth years, respectively. Bill rates are projected to rise to 3.252% in May 2022, down 3.9 basis points from last week. The 10 year U.S. Treasury yield is projected to rise steadily to reach 3.174% on May 31, 2022, 0.9 basis points lower than projected last week.
U.S. dollar swap spreads this week were a negative 25 basis points at 30 years, unchanged since last week. Today’s forecast continues to imply a rise and fall of spreads between the libor-swap curve and U.S. Treasuries, with a local peak in the 1 month spread of 63.6 basis points in November 2012, down 3.7 basis points from the previous forecast. Thereafter, swap spreads drop to a negative spread of 21.4 basis points in May 2013. This extreme gyration is generated by the difference in credit risk on the libor curve (used for 1 month, 3 months, and 6 months) and the interest rate swap curve (used for one year and beyond). Buyers of Eurodollar deposits run the risk of 100% loss of principal, but swap market participants stand to lose only the present value of the difference in original swap cash flows versus current market rates if the swap counterparty defaults with no collateral. Kamakura’s analysis ignores this credit differential, consistent with common market practice. One month spreads to US Treasuries continue to rise and fall thereafter, turning negative again in 2020 and beyond. The libor-swap curve itself shows a peak in 1 month libor at 90.2 basis points in November 2012 and a fall to 6.1 basis points in May 2013. These gyrations too are caused by the differential in credit risk between the first six months of the curve and longer maturities.
These negative spreads between U.S. dollar interest rate swaps and U.S. Treasury yields reflect the blurring of credit quality between these two yield curves. The U.S. government has not been seen as risk free for some time by market participants. Eurodollar rates used here are collected by the U.S. Federal Reserve and are different from the “official” libor rates collected by Thomson Reuters on behalf of the British Bankers Association. The U.S. dollar libor panel was revised in an announcement on December 1, 2011 effective December 5, 2011. Bank of Nova Scotia was removed, leaving 18 banks remaining on the panel. Now 4 of the 18 panel banks that determine U.S. dollar libor have received significant government assistance and are, in effect, sovereign credits. The following banks make up the current U.S. dollar libor panel:
- Bank of America
- Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi UFJ
- Barclays Bank PLC
- BNP Paribas
- Citibank NA
- Credit Agricole Corporate Investment Bank
- Credit Suisse
- Deutsche Bank AG
- JP Morgan Chase
- Lloyds Banking Group
- Norinchukin Bank
- Royal Bank of Canada
- Royal Bank of Scotland Group
- Societe Generale
- Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corporation
- UBS AG
For more on the panel members, see www.bbalibor.com. Please note that there are periods of dramatic differences between the libor rates reported by the British Bankers Association, using the panel above, and the Eurodollar rates reflected in the H15 statistical release. Those differences are summarized in this blog entry on www.kamakuraco.com:
van Deventer, Donald R. “Kamakura Blog: Default Probabilities and Libor,” Kamakura blog, www.kamakuraco.com, June 7, 2010. Redistributed on www.riskcenter.com on June 8, 2010.
On March 15, 2011, UBS revealed in its 2010 annual report that the company received subpoenas concerning possible manipulation of libor from the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, the U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission and the U.S. Department of Justice. On August 23, 2011, Charles Schwab filed two lawsuits against 11 major banks, including Bank of America, JP Morgan Chase, and Citigroup, claiming they had conspired to manipulate libor. It is too early to determine how much of the difference between the H15 Eurodollar figures and libor could be due to manipulation of libor. On March 12, 2012, CNN reported that the Department of Justice of the United States has launched a criminal investigation into potential manipulation of libor. A total of 18 class action lawsuits have been filed alleging manipulation of Libor. For the amended Charles Schwab complaint and two other consolidated class action complaints, all dated April 30, 2012, please see this Thomson Reuters story:
On June 27, 2012, Barclays Bank PLC agreed to $450M worth of civil settlements with the U.K. Financial Services Authority, the U.S. Department of Justice and the U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission for alleged libor manipulation. Similar investigations of the other major banks are ongoing, and the U.S. Department of Justice is continuing its criminal investigation. The effect of these settlements on the ongoing class action lawsuits is likely to be substantial. For details, please see this article from Bloomberg Businessweek:
Background Information on Input Data and Smoothing
The Federal Reserve H15 statistical release is available here:
The maximum smoothness forward rate approach to yield curve smoothing was described in this blog entry:
van Deventer, Donald R. “Basic Building Blocks of Yield Curve Smoothing, Part 10: Maximum Smoothness Forward Rates and Related Yields versus Nelson-Siegel,” Kamakura blog, www.kamakuraco.com, January 5, 2010. Redistributed on www.riskcenter.com on January 7, 2010.
The use of the maximum smoothness forward rate approach for bond data is discussed in this blog entry:
van Deventer, Donald R. “Basic Building Blocks of Yield Curve Smoothing, Part 12: Smoothing with Bond Prices as Inputs,” Kamakura blog, www.kamakuraco.com, January 20, 2010. Redistributed on www.riskcenter.com on January 21, 2010.
For a pictorial history of daily U.S. Treasury forward rates since January 2, 1962, see
Dickler, Daniel T., Robert A. Jarrow and Donald R. van Deventer, “Inside the Kamakura Book of Yields: A Pictorial History of 50 Years of Daily U.S. Treasury Forward Rates,” Kamakura Corporation memorandum, September 13, 2011.
For a quantitative summary of forward rate curve shapes that have prevailed since January 2, 1962, see
Dickler, Daniel T. and Donald R. van Deventer, “Inside the Kamakura Book of Yields: An Analysis of 50 Years of Daily U.S. Treasury Forward Rates,” Kamakura blog, www.kamakuraco.com, September 14, 2011.
The reasons for smoothing forward credit spreads instead of the absolute level of the libor-swap curve were discussed in this blog entry:
van Deventer, Donald R. “Basic Building Blocks of Yield Curve Smoothing, Part 13: Smoothing Credit Spreads,” Kamakura blog, www.kamakuraco.com, April 7, 2010. Redistributed on www.riskcenter.com, April 14, 2010.
The Kamakura approach to interest rate forecasting was introduced in this blog entry:
van Deventer, Donald R. “The Kamakura Corporation Monthly Forecast of U.S. Treasury Yields,” Kamakura blog, www.kamakuraco.com, March 31, 2010. Redistributed on www.riskcenter.com on April 1, 2010.
Today’s Kamakura U.S. Treasury Yield Forecast
The Kamakura 10 year monthly forecast of U.S. Treasury yields is based on this data from the Federal Reserve H15 statistical release:
The graph below shows in 3 dimensions the movement of the U.S. Treasury yield curve 120 months into the future at each month end:
These yield curve movements are consistent with the continuous forward rates and zero coupon yields implied by the U.S. Treasury coupon bearing yields above:
In numerical terms, forecasts for the first 60 months of U.S. Treasury yield curves are as follows:
The forecasted yields for months 61 to 120 are given here:
Today’s Kamakura Forecast for U.S. Dollar Interest Rate Swap Yields and Spreads
Today’s forecast for U.S. Dollar interest rate swap yields is based on the following data from the H15 Statistical Release published by the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System:
Applying the maximum smoothness forward rate smoothing approach to the forward credit spreads between the libor-swap curve and the U.S. Treasury curve results in the following zero coupon bond yields:
The forward rates for the libor-swap curve and U.S. Treasury curve are shown here:
The 10 year forecast for U.S. dollar interest rate swap yields is shown in the following graph:
The 10 year forecast for U.S. dollar interest rate swap spreads to U.S. Treasury yields is given in the following graph:
The numerical values for the implied future U.S. dollar interest rate swap spreads to U.S. Treasury yields are given here for 60 months forward:
The numerical values for the implied future U.S. dollar interest rate swap spreads to U.S. Treasury yields are given here for 61-120 months forward:
For more information about the yield curve smoothing and simulation capabilities in Kamakura Risk Manager, please contact us at email@example.com. Kamakura interest rate forecasts are available in pre-formatted Kamakura Risk Manager data base format.
Taqui Raza, Donald R. van Deventer and Martin Zorn
Honolulu, June 29, 2012
Copyright © Kamakura Corporation, 2012. All Rights Reserved.