The Other Fiscal Cliff…Treasury vs. Fed…Top ETF Launches of 2012…and more!

Cate Long: – The other “fiscal cliff”While everyone is focused on Washington, D.C., there is another “fiscal cliff” that is rarely discussed — the massive unfunded liabilities of state and local governments. Muniland is the nation’s largest employer, with 19 million workers, or 15 percent of national employment. But the tax revenues that fuel the sector have yet to recover to their pre-crisis highs of 2008.

WSJ: – US Treasury vs. Fed: You say long, I say short. – With much fanfare, the Federal Reserve has been buying long-term US Treasury bonds — $1.6 trillion worth. But while the Fed is subtracting from the market’s stock of long-term Treasurys, part of its campaign to bolster the US economy, the US Treasury Department is adding to the supply of long-term Treasurys by selling more of them.

Index Universe: – BOND and beyond: Top ETF launches of 2012. – This has been another banner year for the ETF industry, and a big story is Bill Gross’ splashy debut in the world of exchange-traded funds. But it isn’t the only story.

Tradingfloor: Bond market signaling risk off in equities – The recent upward move in the bond spread is confirming that the risk premium on credit risk is rising and the rate of change in the spread is consistently positive over the last couple of weeks, indicating that a change is likely happening.

BusinessWeek: – Deficit fears not mirrored in bond market. – Lawmakers of both parties in Washington have made deficit reduction a rallying cry. The bond market isn’t showing anywhere near the same level of concern.

FT: – Bond party is over, says Caisse chief Sabia.The bond party is over – this according to one of Canada’s biggest pension fund managers, which plans to cut back significantly on its fixed income holdings.

Reuters: – Safe or junk, bonds in bubble trouble. – Investors’ love affair with bonds could be on the rocks after five long years as both safe haven and junk bonds look to be in bubble territory.

Lowell Herr: – Are stocks and bonds dead? – With Bill Gross and Mohamed El-Erian both predicting sluggish long term growth for equities and a similarly pessimistic outlook for bonds, where do investors looking for yield go?

Reuters: – CalPERS triggers legal fight with bankrupt San Bernardino over pension debt. America’s biggest public pension moved aggressively against the bankrupt city of San Bernardino, California, on Tuesday night over the city’s decision to halt payments to the fund.

Timesunion: – Financiers pitching ‘Sandy Bond’ deal. – Sandy Bonds would allow private investors — ranging from real estate developers to manufacturers — to sell tax-exempt bonds that could pay for houses, apartments, factories, power plants or other business investments needed in Sandy’s wake.

iShares: – Rotate and customize. Dodd Kittsley explains what ETF flows tell us about investor behavior this past year and how investors are using bond ETFs for income.

MarketWatch: Bonds hold onto slim gains after beige book report. Treasury prices held onto slim gains on Wednesday after the Federal Reserve’s Beige Book report on current economic conditions indicated unexpected weakness in manufacturing in a majority of the 12 districts as concerns about the fiscal cliff clouded the outlook for factory owners.

Learn Bonds: – Investing in international bonds.The Financial Lexicon looks at a few ETFs worth exploring if you plan to venture into the world of internationally-focused securities.

MarketWatch: – US sells 5-year debt at lowest yield since July. The Treasury Department sold $35 billion in 5-year notes 5 YEAR -3.23% on Wednesday at a yield of 0.641%, the lowest level since July.

Bloomberg: – Casino gamble lures city on Mississippi to borrow. Davenport, Iowa, wants to sell $48 million of general-obligation bonds to buy the Rhythm City riverboat on its waterfront to help generate revenue for the cash strapped city.

Reuters: – Bond prices rise on standoff in US budget talks. – The absence of progress in Washington in talks to avert a fiscal crisis lifted US government bond prices for a third straight day on Wednesday in advance of a $35 billion auction of five-year federal debt.

Reuters: – US corporate bond new issues. – A list of upcoming high-grade and high-yield corporate bond offerings in the United States.

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