Then again the fed sure is taking their time...
If you have 30x leverage in 5 year duration bonds, and interest rates go up 1%, you lose 150%!
ZIRP (0% interest rates) is a wealth transfer to big banks, a backdoor bailout.
If the Federal Reserve raised the Fed Funds Rate to 1%, then the bank would be borrowing at 1% and lending at .26%, and they'd be .74% in the hole per bond, 74% accounting for 100x leverage. Big banks are comfortable doing this trade right now, because they know the Federal Reserve isn't going to raise interest rates. (It is more accurate to say that the Federal Reserve is owned by the big banks, rather than acting independently.)
Instead of buying Treasuries, they could invest in stocks, futures, corporate bonds, mortgages, houses, whatever. The bank borrows at zero and buys stuff that yields (on average) greater than zero. The bank can lend money to hedge funds who in turn invest in VC funds or startups. (ZIRP indirectly causes a startup valuation bubble.)
Most of the time, the banks make huge profits (borrowing low and lending high).
Every 20 years, there's a severe recession, and the big banks get a bailout.
When interest rates are lowered, that's an indirect bank bailout. Suppose the bank owns a 5 year duration bond, uses 10x leverage, and interest rates go down 1%. The bond prices go up 5*1 = 5%. With 10x leverage, that's 50% profit.
(And if they don't find anything, they only pay 0% while they wait.)
This free money being doled out by the Fed to a select few entities will have consequences. My biggest fear is market will finally win over retail investors from 2008. Then, and only then will the big boys pull out leaving us holding the empty bag. Big boys who should gave bleed out if Bush Administration didn't throw them a coagulant? (I know a cheezy metaphor.) Oh yes, My America--you are the picture boy of Capitalism?