10 scary market moments

10. Treasury pulls 30-year bond (Oct. 31, 2001)

Our first moment isn’t just frightening — it actually happened on Halloween. For people trading the cash/futures big bond basis, the Treasury Department’s decision to stop issuing 30-year bonds was as scary as it gets. The spread between cash and futures blew up by three full handles, decimating many basis traders who had assumed that the government would need the continued flexibility of 30-year bonds.

The Treasury eventually reintroduced the bond in August 2005, saying that it needed to broaden its investor base and diversify its funding options.

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