Hedging Liquidity Risk

Also from the recent PRMIA meeting on liquidity risk: Ken Winston, CRO of Morgan Stanley Investment Management, threw out the following idea on how to hedge against market illiquidity: sell off-the-run Treasuries and buy on-the-run issues. As liquidity disappears, the on-the-run bonds gain relative to the off-the-run issues.

You could offer the hedge to a customer, adding leverage to ensure that your position better tracks the relative price declines of securities less liquid than off-the-run Treasuries, and keeping a bit for yourself to cover the basis risk and make a profit.

Asked whether he would purchase such a hedge for MSIM, Winston said "Sure, under the right circumstances."

Sounds like the old TED spread (T-bills against LIBOR) in new clothes.