This has become a rates business with not a lot of choice on the asset side, says CYS Investment CEO Kevin Grant, presenting at KBW. New qualified mortgage rules have made traditional adjustable-rate mortgages a thing of the past, he says, leaving investment choices at pretty much traditional 15- and 30-year fixed loans.
The Treasury rally? Grant isn't surprised by it and says - given the level of the Fed Funds rate - 2.5% on the 10-year is perfectly reasonable. Grant's not impressed with the Fed's (somewhat) rosy economic projections , noting the central bank has consistently been too optimistic on the economy for several years.
Grant and CYS have been notable in past months for allocating a sizable portion of the portfolio to Treasurys, with 5-year paper a favorite. It's all about the borrow, says Grant, who says he can generate a spread of more than 200 basis points with zero prepayment risk. Treasurys now make up 12% of the CYS portfolio.