How accustomed are we to current yields ?

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Analysing the Impact of US Interest Rates on Global Markets

In recent times, there has been a lot of talk about US interest rates and their potential impact on various economies around the world. As an observer of financial markets, I would like to share my thoughts on this matter. By analysing the historical data, we can gain a better understanding of the current situation and what it means for the future.

Let’s start by looking at the yield on US government bonds over the past few decades. From the late 1990s until now, US interest rates have shown a significant decline, reaching historically low levels of around 0.5%. However, in recent years, we have witnessed a gradual climb back up to approximately 4.7%. Although this may not seem alarming, it is worth noting that we haven’t seen these rates in the past 15 years.

The implications of this interest rate cycle are vast, particularly for those who have grown accustomed to borrowing at extremely low rates. Many individuals, especially younger generations, have built their lives assuming access to cheap loans for education, housing, and even consumer credit. However, with interest rates on the rise, the entire paradigm of financial planning and borrowing changes drastically.

For instance, individuals who opted for variable interest rates on their loans may now face significant challenges. Even if they initially took advantage of lower rates, their monthly payments could skyrocket if rates continue to rise. Imagine someone who bought a half-million-dollar house just two years ago with affordable EMIs. If they were to purchase the same house now, their mortgage payments could be 50% higher than before.

This scenario raises an important question: Can the US economy withstand the impact of rising interest rates in the coming years? Even if the rates stabilise around 4-5% (which seems likely), it would still pose a challenge for many borrowers. It’s crucial to acknowledge that the previous decade’s low interest rates were artificially created to support economic growth. However, with a mounting national debt that requires trillions of dollars to sustain, a paradigm shift seems unavoidable.

The significance of the US market cannot be underestimated. As the global leader of consumption and economic activity, any fluctuations in the US economy have a ripple effect worldwide. If the US were to experience a significant decrease in consumption, it would undoubtedly influence other countries’ economies and force them to reassess their growth strategies and sources of GDP.

Impact of US interest rates on the Indian economy

 In the last 15 years, India has maintained a relatively consistent range of interest rates, fluctuating between 6% to 9%. Despite occasional overshoots, this range has become the norm, and various sectors, including real estate and credit growth, have adapted accordingly. The impact of recent rate hikes from 5.7% to 7.5% on these sectors has been minimal due to India’s overall resilience within this range.

Considering the situation, India’s focus primarily lies in stabilising the global economic environment. The Indian economy is looking for a balance where inflation and interest rates can be stabilised, allowing for smoother economic growth. Of course, this is an oversimplification of the complex factors at play, and much discussion and economic analysis are required to pinpoint the right approach.

As a disclaimer, I am not an economist, and my views are purely observational. It would be interesting to hear your thoughts and opinions on the matter. How do you interpret the recent interest rate movements in the world? Send us an email on if you have any thoughts around this.

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October 18, 2023 by Weekend Investing

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    How accustomed are we to current yields ?