NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH
NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH

Why Does the Treasury Issue Tips? The Tips-Treasury Bond Puzzle

Matthias Fleckenstein, Francis A. Longstaff, Hanno Lustig

NBER Working Paper No. 16358
Issued in September 2010
NBER Program(s):   AP   ME

We show that the price of a Treasury bond and an inflation-swapped TIPS issue exactly replicating the cash flows of the Treasury bond can differ by more than $20 per $100 notional. Treasury bonds are almost always overvalued relative to TIPS. Total TIPS-Treasury mispricing has exceeded $56 billion, representing nearly eight percent of the total amount of TIPS outstanding. TIPS-Treasury mispricing is strongly related to supply factors such as Treasury debt issuance and the availability of collateral in the financial markets, and is correlated with other types of fixed-income arbitrages, These results pose a major puzzle to classical asset pricing theory. In addition, they raise the issue of why the Treasury issues TIPS, since in so doing it both gives up a valuable fiscal hedging option and leaves large amounts of money on the table.

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Document Object Identifier (DOI): 10.3386/w16358

Published: The TIPS—Treasury Bond Puzzle* The Journal of Finance Accepted manuscript online: 30 JAN 2013, Matthias Fleckenstein, Francis A. Longstaff and Hanno Lustig DOI: 10.1111/jofi.12032

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