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I founded and co-founded a couple of companies: Redington and mallowstreet; I write about issues of the day that touch me and make me think. Mostly about how to make things better.

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The Eleventh Dimension

Continuing my re-release of my “Hedge your pension scheme against a falling Real Yield” blog campaign from six years ago, here is one I published on 30 July 2005:

UK Real Yield *1.47% (30 July 2005)

Superstring theory, hyperspace and dark matter make it abundantly clear that there are more than three dimensions to the universe – in fact there are eleven. And, to complicate things further, there is probably an infinite number of parallel universes.


We just happen to live in one of them.  Somewhere else in another universe, in the continuum of the eleventh dimension is another you doing something slightly different – or very different.

In that universe, Elvis is still with us and Napoleon won the battle of Waterloo.



That universe is about 10 to the 1028 metres from here – which is beyond astronomically far away – but that does not make it any less real.

The estimate is derived from elementary probability theory and doesn’t even assume speculative modern physics; merely that space is infinite in size and uniformly filled with matter – which seems to be backed up by pretty rudimentary cosmological observations. In infinite space, even the most unlikely events must take place somewhere.


Now I’m no physicist but it is, I suppose, comforting to know that somewhere out there is a world in which defined benefit pension scheme liabilities aren’t rising faster than the assets which back them. Somewhere in the eleventh dimension there’s a universe where the real yield is at 5% and rising.

But since we’re not in it, and the real yield today is stuck at  1.47% and showing little sign of recovery, a hedging strategy is required. For details, see Market Diary, 1 July 05.


*Six years later, the real yield is hovering around 0% and pension liabilities are sky high and rising.

One comment on “The Eleventh Dimension

  • Anonymous
    March 9, 2012 | 3:30 pm

    My investment strategy is to quantum tunnel through the deficit to fully funded…either that or believe the nonsense coming out of the NAPF and towers watson on rates…but seriously just becasue there exists universes in which the UK pension sector is solvent says nothing about the probability density of those universes

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