The Brief: The Bank of England (BoE) has so far bought less than £3.7 billion of gilts, significantly below the £20 billion it committed to when it announced a temporary market intervention on September 28. The BoE released a statement yesterday that stated it is “studying patterns of demand” and will “adjust any of the other parameters of the auction” in line with its goal of restoring market conditions with consistency.
Why It Matters: The BoE rode to the markets rescue following the mini-budget speech. The BoE’s immediate purchase of long-dated gilts supported prices and helped liability driven investment (LDI) funds to recover, this helped reduce anxiety among pension funds, who had seen their bond investments halve the previous week.
Finanze® Foresights: The BoE cannot afford to let LDIs go under, or it will cause a much larger financial disaster since more than 67 per cent of LDI holdings are in bonds. LDIs purchase long-dated gilts and sell them to investors for repurchasing at a later date, then use the cash proceeds to acquire more gilts. The market uncertainty forced them to fund margin calls on their devalued portfolios, which pushed gild yields further. Had it not been for the BoE’s swift intervention, the LDI’s would have gone under in days. When LDI managers need more cash to post against their hedging, they must be careful enough to contain the cost of margin calls to avoid exposing portfolios to excessive risk.
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