Concepts Review and Critical Thinking Questions

1. Treasury Bonds Is it true that a U.S. Treasury security is risk-free?

2. Interest Rate Risk Which has greater interest rate risk, a 30-year Treasury bond or a 30-year BB corporate bond?

3. Treasury Pricing With regard to bid and ask prices on a Treasury bond, is it possible for the bid price to be higher? Why or why not?

4. Yield to Maturity Treasury bid and ask quotes are sometimes given in terms of yields, so there would be a bid yield and an ask yield. Which do you think would be larger? Explain.

5. Call Provisions A company is contemplating a long-term bond issue. It is debating whether or not to include a call provision. What are the benefits to the company from including a call provision? What are the costs? How do these answers change for a put provision?

6. Coupon Rate How does a bond issuer decide on the appropriate coupon rate to set on its bonds? Explain the difference between the coupon rate and the required return on a bond.

7. Real and Nominal Returns Are there any circumstances under which an investor might be more concerned about the nominal return on an investment than the real return?

8. Bond Ratings Companies pay rating agencies such as Moody's and S&P to rate their bonds, and the costs can be substantial. However, companies are not required to have their bonds rated in the first place; doing so is strictly voluntary. Why do you think they do it?

9. Bond Ratings U.S. Treasury bonds are not rated. Why? Often, junk bonds are not rated. Why?

10. Term Structure What is the difference between the term structure of interest rates and the yield curve?

11. Crossover Bonds Looking back at the crossover bonds we discussed in the chapter, why do you think split ratings such as these occur?

12. Municipal Bonds Why is it that municipal bonds are not taxed at the federal level, but are taxable across state lines? Why is it that U.S. Treasury bonds are not taxable at the state level? (You may need to dust off the history books for this one.)

13. Bond Market What are the implications for bond investors of the lack of transparency in the bond market?

14. Treasury Market All Treasury bonds are relatively liquid, but some are more liquid than others. Take a look back at Figure 7.4. Which issues appear to be the most liquid? The least liquid?

15. Rating Agencies A controversy erupted regarding bond-rating agencies when some agencies began to provide unsolicited bond ratings. Why do you think this is controversial?

16. Bonds as Equity The 100-year bonds we discussed in the chapter have something in common with junk bonds. Critics charge that, in both cases, the issuers are really selling equity in disguise. What are the issues here? Why would a company want to sell "equity in disguise"?

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