Margin mayhem

Insurers and pension providers in the eurozone likely exacerbated the run on the region’s money market funds (MMFs) in March, as they withdrew cash en masse to cover huge margin calls on derivatives triggered by Covid-induced volatility. Researchers at the European Central Bank found a strong correlation between MMF inflows and outflows and the variation margin payments made to and from insurance corporations and pension funds related to their interest rate and currency derivatives.

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