derivatives

On August 23rd, the UK government issued a series of papers covering large swathes of the British economy with guidance for preparedness in the event of a no-deal Brexit next March, and so an abrupt rupture in its relations to the 27 remaining EU member-states.

In April, the global banking and capital markets authorities together announced a mid-course correction to their work transforming central counterparty clearing of OTC derivatives contracts. In their search in 2009 for the answer to the ‘OTC counterparty risk problem’ that had so brutally hit the world’s financial system and economy, the authorities grasped at a notion then circulating in central banking circles: if clearing houses had proven themselves able to manage the risk of on-exchange transactions during the market turmoil of 2008 and the failure of Lehman Brothers, then they ought to be called upon to do the same for the off-exchange business that had gone off the rails.

The data IOSCO gathered from its members last year made it clear that individual investors continue to be serious buyers of complex, leveraged OTC products. If there were not a genuine world-wide investor protection problem, IOSCO would hardly have bothered to write extensively on the state and extent of the question, prepared suggestions for national capital markets regulators, and submitted those to public review before endorsing final recommendations.

This is the second in a series of articles on PMFIs.

In response to the Global Financial Crisis of 2007-2009, the G20 countries developed a series of public policy initiatives in order to reorder and de-risk the world’s financial system. As initially announced in the 2009 Pittsburgh Declaration by the heads of those 20 governments, a key element focused on solidifying market infrastructures, themselves a central focus of Thomas Murray’s work since the company’s founding in 1994.

This is the first in a series of four articles considering central bank payment systems self-assessments against the PFMIs.

Introduction and the Bank of England Example

In response to the financial crises of 2007-2009, at the behest of G20 governments, the Financial Stability Board and its constituent bodies developed broad global standards to shore up a system that had proven all too fragile – though it must be said that the public, regulated marketplaces did function throughout (except in isolated cases where for a few days their governments closed them for fear of collapsing prices). The same cannot be said of the freezing up of the far larger OTC and banks’ market operations in that period, which was the source of the economic and social damage inflicted.

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