The real source of retirement income

For all the industry angst over the need for retirement income products and strategies, the simplest answer (as usual) might prove best. Bloomberg speculates on a boomer bounce in Treasuries. Quoting Merrill Lynch analysts (they're still around?), the service writes "treasuries may rally as U.S. baby boomers hurt by the global economic recession look to bond markets for income during retirement."

"Since income in the labor market is becoming increasingly difficult to garner as the unemployment rate heads to new higher highs, the boomers are going to have to secure their planned retirement cash-flows somewhere else -- like the fixed-income market," wrote David Rosenberg, chief economist for North America in New York, according to Bloomberg.

Yields, it says, show banks are more willing to lend, suggesting government and central bank efforts are starting to thaw credit markets. The difference between what banks and the Treasury pay to borrow money for three months, the so-called TED spread, narrowed to 97 basis points from 2008's high of 4.64 percentage points in October. It averaged 36 basis points in 2006.

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