Plus: Consumer Health, HSBC
It seems that these days, someone, somewhere is on the end of a major margin call.
Last week, it was the turn of UK pension funds. After a sharp fall in the value of UK government bonds, pension funds bound to a particular investment strategy (known as Liability-Driven Investment or LDI) were hit with calls from banks to post more collateral against their borrowings. Initial reports were of margin calls of as much as £100 million each; later it transpired that one such fund – the Pension Protection Fund – was asked to put up £1.9 billion in additional cash. In the event, the Bank of England intervened to stabilise the situation and UK pension funds now have some breathing room.
But the collateral calls they experienced are just the latest in a long list of high-profile calls:
• Throughout the year, energy companies have been seeking help from governments to backstop their liquidity. Back in March, the European Federation of Energy Traders complained that “high and volatile wholesale ene…