When do Treasuries Earn the Convenience Yield? — A Hedging Perspective
We document that the convenience yield of U.S. Treasuries exhibits properties that are consistent with a hedging perspective of safe assets. The convenience yield tends to be low when the covariance of Treasury returns with the aggregate stock market returns is high. A decomposition of the aggregate stock-bond covariance into terms corresponding to the convenience yield, the frictionless risk-free rate, and default risk reveals that the covariance between stock returns and the convenience yield itself drives the effect in a substantive capacity. We show the convenience yield is reduced with heightened inflation expectations that erode the hedging properties of U.S. Treasuries and other fixed-income money-like assets, inducing a switch to alternatives such as gold; it is also reduced immediately prior to debt-ceiling standoffs and with increases in Treasury supply.