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The Return of a Poor Risk/Reward

May 21, 2009
Kurt Fritz

Samuel Johnson once said, “Integrity without knowledge is weak and useless, and knowledge without integrity is dangerous and dreadful.”

This quote is very poignant as I see the incredible number of callable step‐ups being pushed out by brokerage firms around this country. I wrote my fist article on these stinkers in 1998, revisited them in 2003, and am going to get on my soap box again today. If you are a student of interest rates and their history, you will immediately recall a common theme from all three of these periods—a low and steep yield curve. I was not around for the first big issuance period in 1993, which also happened to have a very low and steep curve.

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