Xavier Häpe / CC BY (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0) There are no trillion-dollar hedge funds out there. This makes it difficult for them to compete in European sovereign debt auctions with the European Central Bank, which has €1.85 trillion just to buy those bonds. Difficult, but not impossible; these are hedge funds, after all, and their job is to figure out how to make money on anything. So let’s say they want a bigger piece of, say, a €10 billion European Union issue than they’re likely to get with an honest bid, given that such things receive many times more offers than there are for actual bonds. Why not just place more bids than you actually want? Far more, in fact? Why not put in bids for more money than you actually have, since there’s no chance you’ll actually be called on to make good?