The key protection which CCPs have against counterparty credit risk is their default waterfall. They take margin from clearing members and their clients, and default fund contributions from clearing members, and use these amounts as a bulwark against losses should a clearing member default.
The different levels in the default waterfall – margin, CCP equity, default fund, default fund assessment rights, and so on – are accessed in sequence, much like the tranches of a CDO. Typically the defaulter’s margin and default fund are used first, then an amount of CCP equity is at risk, then the mutual default is used, and typically more default fund can then be called from surviving members. That is, the default waterfall starts off individual, with the defaulter (or rather their estate) paying, and then becomes mutual. Continue reading
Very recently CME shared a paper on the famous OTC derivatives and their treatment under Extraterritoriality. Due to the role of unregulated over-the-counter (OTC) financial derivatives in the 2008 financial crisis which began in the U.S. but whose influence was felt globally, the G-20 agreed in its Pittsburgh meeting in 2009 that “all standardised OTC derivative contracts should be traded on exchanges or electronic trading platforms, where appropriate, and cleared through central counterparties by end-2012, at the latest. OTC derivative contracts should be reported to trade repositories. Non-centrally cleared contracts should be subject to higher capital requirements.” Continue reading
Dodd-Frank Trade Reporting isn’t coming … it’s here. February 28, 2013 was the date that Major Swap Participants (MSPs) were required to begin reporting equity, foreign exchange and other commodity swaps. And this is just the beginning of a series of milestones in the regulation that was designed to prevent future “too big to fail scenarios,” such as what occurred during the Global Financial Crisis of 2008. But, there is a bigger story here around regulation and compliance and how IT is used to ensure transparency, accuracy and accountability in reporting.
Regulation, Regulation and more Regulation
While Dodd-Frank is a U.S. regulation under the supervision of the Commodities Futures Trading Commission (CFTC), any financial institution doing business with a U.S. bank will need to comply. Continue reading
“Regulation as such would not be a problem, if only one knew how it looks like“. This is a claim often heard by asset managers.
There has been published a lot of literature, news and considerations around EMIR in the past months. EMIR applies its obligations to “financial institutions”, including investment firms, Undertakings for Collective Investments in Transferable Securities (“UCITS”) funds and their managers, and entities that will be authorized under the Alternative Investment Funds Managers Directive (“AIFMD”), who trade in “eligible derivatives contracts” such as options, futures, swaps, and contracts for differences. Continue reading