My Morning’s Guess Was Only Off By Between 10 and 11 “Basis Points” (Hundredths of a Percent) — On Actual Yields!


File this in the Hilarious Department — I easily bested Bloomberg’s “pro” — by over 50 percent!:

. . . .On the five, I bet 2.4% yield; actual was 2.3% (10 bips difference):

Per Reuters

BORROWER: MERCK & CO INC
TRANCHE 1
AMT $850 MLN | COUPON 2.25 PCT

YIELD | 2.30 PCT

SETTLEMENT 12/10/2010

I was low — BUT ONLY BY 11.1 bips(!) — on the ten year paper, guessing 3.8% yield; actual was 3.911% — Viz:

TRANCHE 2
AMT $1.15 BLN | COUPON 3.875 PCT

MATURITY 1/15/2021

YIELD 3.911 PCT

SETTLEMENT 12/10/2010. . . .

Always a fun parlor game. Watch for a small downbeat in Merck common stock tomorrow, as the NYSE traders realize that CFO Peter Kellog just decided to “hedge” a bad outcome in the J&J arbitration, today — prefunding about $2 billion of maturities — at very low coupons, and even lower spreads v. Treasuries.

CFO Kellog is the Merck financial “insiders’ insider” — and it is significant that he effectively prefunded $2 billion, today.

[Still, I shouldn’t quit my day job, as that 10 bips is about $250,000 in additional interest, per quarter. On the other hand, what’s a quarter million, on $2 billion? Not much.]

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