Gross vs. Cooperman on Treasurys

Are Treasury bonds a good place to be, or quite dangerous? Two top strategists — Bill Gross and Leon Cooperman — have very different takes.

Hedge fund guru Cooperman tells Bloomberg that Treasurys will be the worst place to put their money for the next three years. He says the Federal Reserve is trying to bolster asset prices, and he thinks they’ll be successful, creating significant inflation in the next couple years. With yields so low, Treasury investors face a major erosion of their purchasing power if inflation rises. He likes equities and gold over Treasurys.

“Bond King” Gross, however, has 38% of the PIMCO Total Return Fund in Treasurys and other U.S. debt, Bloomberg reports. “If you have an environment in which interest rates aren’t going to change, and that’s the key, is Ben Bernanke good to his promise?” Gross said. “Yields are not going anywhere for the next two or three years.” He says investors who are substituting high-dividend stocks for Treasurys are taking on substantial amounts of additional risk.