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The Washington Independent
The Washington Independent

Minority Whip Cantor Bets Against U.S. Bonds

A great catch from The Wall Street Journal: , the Republican whip in the House of Representatives, bought up to $15,000 in shares of ProShares Trust

Elisa Mueller
News
Last updated: Jul 31, 2020 | Jun 18, 2010

A great catch from The Wall Street Journal:

[Rep. Eric Cantor (R-Va.)], the Republican whip in the House of Representatives, bought up to $15,000 in shares of ProShares Trust Ultrashort 20+ Year Treasury ETF last December, according to his 2009 financial disclosure statement. The exchange-traded fund takes a short position in long-dated government bonds. In effect, it is a bet against U.S. government bonds — and perhaps on inflation in the future.

Nice! Here’s a more thorough description of the bond product, from Reuters.

ProShares UltraShort 20+ Year Treasury (the Fund), formerly ProShares UltraShort Lehman 20+ Year Treasury, seeks daily investment results that correspond to twice (200%) the inverse (opposite) of the daily performance of the Barclays Capital 20+ Year U.S. Treasury Bond Index (the Index). The Index includes all publicly issued, the United States Treasury securities that have a remaining maturity greater than 20 years, are non-convertible, are denominated in United States dollars, are rated investment grade (at least Baa3 by Moody’s Investors Service or BBB- by Standard & Poor’s (S&P)), are fixed rate, and have more than $250 million par outstanding. The Index is weighted by the relative market value of all securities meeting the Index criteria. The Fund takes positions in securities and/or financial instruments that, in combination, should have similar daily return characteristics as –200% of the daily return of the Index. The Fund’s investment advisor is ProShare Advisors LLC.

But it appears that Cantor is not a very canny investor. The fund is down 31 percent this year.

Elisa Mueller | Elisa Mueller was born in Kansas City, Missouri, to a mother who taught reading and a father who taught film. As a result, she spent an excessive amount of her childhood reading books and watching movies. She went to the University of Kansas for college, where she earned bachelor's degrees in English and journalism. She moved to New York City and worked for Entertainment Weekly magazine for ten years, visiting film sets all over the world.

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