Stock-market investors are grumbling these days, after a mere month or so of pain. For solace, they should look at the Treasury market.

The bottom line: For most of the past decade, capital has fared much better than labor. Now, the tables are turned.

Expand chart
Data: Bespoke Investment Group; Chart: Andrew Witherspoon/Axios

The market value of the Russell 3000 is down $3.5 trillion since Sept. 20. Only Brazil has seen stocks rise. Every other major market fell in October.

But there's another market where the downturn has lasted far longer.

  • If you've been lending money to the U.S. government, your investments peaked in value back on July 8, 2016. Since then, coupons have been low and interest rates have been rising, causing bond values to fall.
  • Bonds are normally supposed to be a safe investment, but Treasuries have been a losing proposition for well over two years.
  • The current losing streak of 603 trading days is utterly unprecedented in length, shattering the previous record of 393 days. What's more, it shows no sign of coming to an end anytime soon.
  • The bond market always hits new highs eventually. Rising yields mean capital losses, but also bring higher coupons.
  • The great 30-year bull market from the mid-1980s to the mid-2010s, however, will probably never be replicated.

Go deeper

Updated 1 hour ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

  1. Politics: Senate Democrats block vote on McConnell's targeted COVID relief bill McConnell urges White House not to strike stimulus deal before election.
  2. Economy: Why the stimulus delay isn't a crisis (yet).
  3. Health: Studies show drop in COVID death rate — The next wave is gaining steam — The overwhelming aftershocks of the pandemic.
  4. Education: Schools haven't become hotspots — San Francisco public schools likely won't reopen before the end of the year.

Senate Democrats block vote on McConnell's targeted COVID relief bill

Photo: Stefani Reynolds/Getty Images

Senate Democrats on Wednesday blocked a vote on Republicans' $500 billion targeted COVID-19 relief bill, a far less comprehensive package than the $1.8 trillion+ deal currently being negotiated between the Trump administration and House Democrats.

Why it matters: There's little appetite in the Senate for a stimulus bill with a price tag as large as what President Trump and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi have been calling for. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell's (R-Ky.) "skinny" proposal was mostly seen as a political maneuver, as it had little chance of making it out of the Senate.

The hazy line between politics and influence campaigns

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

The recent firestorm over the New York Post’s publication of stories relying on data from a hard drive allegedly belonging to Hunter Biden shows the increasingly hazy line between domestic political “dirty tricks” and a foreign-sponsored disinformation operation.

Why it matters: This haziness could give determined actors cover to conduct influence operations aimed at undermining U.S. democracy through channels that just look like old-fashioned hard-nosed politics.

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