Revitalising the markets

Governments are facing unprecedented pressure to finance bank rescue schemes through huge debt issuance. With supply coming thick and fast, the UK Debt Management Office (DMO) has been steering a hazardous path to place its debt into the markets. Until March, it seemed to have done a sterling job. Then came the first failed gilt auction in seven years. Robert Stheeman, chief executive of the DMO, talks to Risk. Interview by Sarfraz Thind


The failure of the UK Debt Management Office (DMO) to sell all its 4.25% 2049 gilts in an auction on March 25, the first time this has happened since 2002, highlighted the parlous situation faced by many governments seeking to revitalise their financial markets. The focus on economic stimulus has seen the UK Treasury push through huge debt issuance packages in recent months, but meeting the supply with adequate demand could prove a tough task.

While government bonds are generally considered a

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