Yes, IB increased requirements dramatically during the Mar-Apr crash earlier this year. Many things that were 15-20% requirements became 35-60%, so 2-3x higher. That time it happened without notice or explanation over just a week or so. This phase in over a month or more, with warning, is way way better.
Good question on short positions for margin. Hopefully they won’t increase the margin requirement for holding longs to 135% of their value… they did that once in the past when they were adding requirements to portfolio margin accounts to require 110% of everything just so you had a 10% buffer. Obviously holding more than 100% on a long equity is dumb.
I may call them and ask a few questions about the new policies. It’s also not clear they’ll use the whole +35% higher requirement in all cases, but I wouldn’t want to count on less. Sadly, it looks like I’ll have to raise some extra cash and/or unwind a good chunk of my less capital efficient short book to over the next month to make sure I won’t end up getting liquidated like earlier this year. That was no fun.