The material on this site is for financial institutions, professional investors and their professional advisers. It is for information only. Please read our Terms & Conditions, Privacy Policy and Cookies before using this site.

All material subject to strictly enforced copyright laws. © 2021 Euromoney, a part of the Euromoney Institutional Investor PLC.
Opinion

Sinking feeling over Lending Club

Last month, I had lunch with a former City trader who is a trustee of a big investment bank’s pension fund. Trader was gloomy. "Returns are abysmal," he wailed. "Pension funds can’t function when the risk-free rate on 10-year UK gilts is 2.2%, equity markets have gone nowhere for a decade and inflation is running at 3.5%." Trader confessed that in his bleakest moments he could see a situation where funds were not able to honour their obligations to those who enjoy favourable defined-benefit schemes."And governments will have to find billions in the next decades to make good the holes in the western civil service pension schemes," he said glumly as he speared a lettuce leaf.

It’s always difficult to step back from the noise of everyday life. But for a while now I have been deeply sceptical about quantitative easing, which instead of being used as a weapon in central banks’ emergency armoury has become a staple of their policy. Since September 2008, short-term interest rates in many western countries have shrivelled to 1% or less. "The authorities have effectively taken cash off the table as an investment option," a hedge fund manager told me.

You have reached premium content. Please log in to continue reading.

Read beyond the headlines with Euromoney

For over 50 years, our readers have looked to Euromoney to stay informed about the issues that matter in the international banking and financial markets. Find out more about our different levels of access below.

SUBSCRIBE ONLINE TODAY

Unlimited access to Euromoney.com and Asiamoney.com

Expert comment, long reads and in-depth analysis interviews with senior finance professionals

Access the results of our market-leading annual surveys across core financial services

Access the results of our annual awards, including the world-renowned Awards for Excellence

Your print copy of Euromoney magazine delivered monthly

£73.75 per month

Billed Annually

FREE 7 DAY TRIAL

Unlimited access to Euromoney.com and Asiamoney.com, including our top stories, long reads, expert analysis, and the results of our annual surveys and awards

Sign up to any of our newsletters, curated by our editors

LOGIN NOW

Already a user?

We use cookies to provide a personalized site experience.
By continuing to use & browse the site you agree to our Privacy Policy.
I agree