CHAPTER 6 – Valuing Bonds

LG1 1. What does a call provision allow the issuer to do, and why would they do it?

A call provision on a bond issue allows the issuer to pay off the bond debt early at a cost of the principal plus any call premium. Most of the time a bond issuer is called, it is because interest rates have substantially declined in the economy. The issuer calls the existing bonds and issues new bonds at the lower interest rate. This reduces the interest payments the issuer must pay each year.

LG2 2. List the differences between the new TIPS and traditional Treasury bonds.

Traditional Treasury bonds have a fixed principal and constant payments. Because the principal and coupon rate are fixed, interest rate changes in the economy cause the market price of the bonds to have large fluctuations. On the other hand, the principal of a TIPS increases with the rate of inflation. Similar to a T-bond, the TIPS has a constant coupon rate. However, since the principal of the TIPS increases over time, the interest payment increases over time. This inflation rate adjustment of a TIPS’ principal every six months reduces the amount of downward price change in the price of the bond when interest rates increase.

LG2 3. Explain how mortgage-backed securities work.

A large amount of home mortgages are purchased and pooled together. The home owners pay interest and principal monthly on their mortgages. Bonds are issued from the pool of mortgages, using the mortgages as collateral. The interest payments and bond principal payments for these mortgage-backed securities (MBS) originate from the mortgage borrowers and flow through the pool of mortgages. As the home owners pay off their mortgages over time, the MBS are also paid.

LG3 4. Provide the definitions of a discount bond and a premium bond. Give examples.

A discount bond is simply a bond that is selling below its par value. It would be quoted at a price that is less...