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Interest Rate Derivatives Trading Explodes to $6.5 Trillion/Day
09-25-2019, 04:29 PM,
Interest Rate Derivatives Trading Explodes to $6.5 Trillion/Day
Interest Rate Derivatives Trading Explodes to $6.5 Trillion/Day

The volume of over-the-counter (OTC) interest rate derivatives traded globally soared by 141% in three years to $6.5 trillion per day in April 2019, according to the Bank for International Settlements’ new Triennial Survey of Global Derivatives Markets. In the prior survey period, April 2016, $2.7 trillion per day in trades were executed. Since 2001, the magnitude of trading volume has multiplied by a factor of 13, from $490 billion per day to $6.5 trillion per day, with a gigantic spike over the past three years:OTC derivatives are securities that are generally traded through a dealer network rather than on a centralized exchange such as the London Stock Exchange or the New York Stock Exchange.Some derivatives can be explosive, such as the credit default swaps (CDS) that brought Lehman Brothers and AIG to their knees in the last crisis, and which still remain a threat today, especially with the U.S. government this week bowing to Wall Street pressure to dilute regulation that had been designed after the crisis to reduce the risks of these instruments.Interest rate derivatives, whose value rises and falls depending on the movement of interest rates, or sets of interest rates, tend to be more straightforward. They are often used as hedges by institutional and retail investors, banks and companies to protect themselves against changes in market interest rates. If managed properly, they shouldn’t pose undue risks to the financial system.The BIS attributed much of this 141% three-year surge in trading of these instruments to increased hedging and positioning “amid shifting prospects for growth and monetary policy.” It also cautioned that some of the turnover in April 2019 was in shorter-term contracts, which are rolled over more often, leading to higher volume of trades. The 2019 survey also featured more comprehensive reporting of related party trades than in previous surveys. After adjusting for these trades, the actual increase in trading volumes since the 2016 survey is more likely to be around 120%, the BIS concluded.Read the entire article

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