How Big is OTC

Jon, posting at the OTC space, does a nice job of setting out the size of various markets. In particular he uses gross

Westminster and Big Ben in Gold

market value rather than notional for OTCs, which is a (much) more useful measure. The results are interesting:

Scarcely a day goes by without a press article or speech mentioning in its introduction the “more $600+ trillion OTC derivatives market”. Whilst this may liven up the subject, this unnecessarily inflames concern. Here’s why.

What are the figures? The quoted figures come from the Bank for International Settlements (BIS) half yearly reporting on OTC derivatives market activity – published on their website. The latest is: BIS OTC 2012 H1 which notes $639 trillion open notional. Continue reading “How Big is OTC”