Thursday, August 25, 2016

Pension Put Selling

They gave you life
And in return you gave them hell
As cold as ice
I hope we live to tell the tale
--Tears for Fears

A predictable consequence of eras of financial repression is that investors will seek out riskier sources of yield. Pension funds, for example, unable to earn large enough coupons from traditional fixed income vehicles, are now resorting to put selling to earn income. 

As long as prices stay elevated, then the 'free money' comes tumbling in. However, when prices fall, then risk becomes reality and losses mount as those who are short puts must cover at higher prices.

At some point, stretching too far for income in this environment will sever people from their capital.

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