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Compressing Over-the-Counter Markets

Marco D'Errico and Tarik Roukny

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Abstract: Over-the-counter markets are at the center of the postcrisis global reform of the financial system. We show how the size and structure of such markets can undergo rapid and extensive changes when participants engage in portfolio compression, a post-trade netting technology. Tightly-knit and concentrated trading structures, as featured by many large over-the-counter markets, are especially susceptible to reductions of notional and reconfigurations of network structure resulting from compression activities. Using transaction-level data on credit-default-swaps markets, we estimate reduction levels consistent with the historical development observed in these markets since the Global Financial Crisis. Finally, we study the effect of a mandate to centrally clear over-the-counter markets. When participants engage in both central clearing and portfolio compression, we find large netting failures if clearinghouses proliferate. Allowing for compression across clearinghouses by-and-large offsets this adverse effect.

New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-fmk
Date: 2017-05, Revised 2019-06
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