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Bonds, Bonds Everywhere and Not a Drop to Yield

The business district of Kigali, the capital of Rwanda
The business district of Kigali, the capital of RwandaPhotograph by Jaco Wolmarans

Here’s this week’s mind-boggler of a stat: So voracious is the global appetite for debt that yields on almost $20 trillion of government securities are below 1 percent, according to Bank of America data.

Such little cost to borrow such an inconceivably large sum. These are at once generous and stingy times: If you are an economy or a corporation with any modicum of creditworthiness, your debt will get snapped up on low, long, easy terms. If you’re an investor, you have to hustle and dig for yield that you might think you can live with, and for a long time—at least well into an uncertain future.