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Brian Chappatta

Behind the Bond Boom No One Saw Coming in 2019

You were probably wrong about fixed income this year. Don’t worry, so was everybody else.

New Year’s convolutions.

New Year’s convolutions.

Photographer: Byron Smith/Getty Images

It’s pretty much never a good idea to call out someone else’s incorrect forecast in hindsight, especially if you’re also in the business of prognosticating (or writing opinion columns). The reason: You’ll almost surely be on the receiving end of ridicule yourself in the not-too-distant future.

This past year in fixed income, though, defies that rule of thumb. Since nearly everyone got at least something wrong, the entire bond-market community can look back and laugh at just how little they thought they knew about the stage of the credit cycle and the willingness of global central banks to abruptly change course and ease policy aggressively.