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Pimco bucks CDS trends as lockdowns recede

Credit default swaps are often described as insurance for bonds. Fixed income investors will tell you how inaccurate that is – in many cases, they are replacements for bonds. Index CDS data from US mutual fund managers makes the point. As a sector, the funds have sold far more protection via the CDS market – making them long credit – than they have bought. Pimco is a big part of this market, but its own book has bucked the wider trend: while other managers have collectively added more protection since Covid-19 lockdowns clouded corporate default risks, Pimco’s own book has shrunk; and while those same managers have been cutting their sold CDSs, Pimco has been ramping up. A lot.

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