NEW YORK (Reuters) – The global financial crisis may morph into a second, equally virulent phase where borrowing costs rise again, hobbling an embryonic economic recovery, debilitating cash-strapped banks, and punishing investors all over again.
Early warnings signs of this scenario include surging government bond yields, a slumping U.S. dollar, and the fading of the bear market rally in U.S. stocks.
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Optimists hope that a fragile two-month rally in world stock markets, a rise in U.S. Treasury yields from record lows during the depths of the crisis in late 2008, and some less scary economic data all signal that a recovery is around the corner.
But gloomy analysts insist that thinking is delusional.
Once Credit Crisis Version 2.0 ramps up, foreign investors may punish the U.S. government for borrowing trillions of dollars too much by refusing to buy its debt until bond prices plunge to much cheaper levels.
The telling harbinger is benchmark Treasury note yields’ surge to six-month highs around 3.75 percent this week, as investors began to balk at the record U.S. government borrowing requirement this year.
The U.S. Treasury plans to sell about $2 trillion (1.2 billion pounds) in new debt this year to fund a $1.8 trillion fiscal deficit.