The FT reports this morning that:
Governments have sold a record $49bn of debt with ultra-long maturities this year.
This week Austria sold government debt that will not mature until 2086 — highlighting the risk investors are willing to run for positive yields.
But although the UK has sold some long dated debt the UK Tax Management Office told the FT:
“We are deliberately not opportunistic for those reasons,” says Sir Robert Stheeman, head of UK Debt Management Office.
What are those reasons:
While it sounds prudent to lock in low rates by replacing bonds that will mature in two, five or even 10-years time for multi-decade debt, there is no guarantee rates that seem impossibly low today cannot fall further or that investors will want to buy.
Respectfully, this is ludicrous. When nominal rates are less than 2% and so likely to be nothing when inflation adjusted in the long term this is, effectively, free money. It's madness not to use it.
But apparently we won't exploit it to be best advantage. That's absurd.