Compressing Over-the-Counter Markets
85 Pages Posted: 4 May 2017 Last revised: 10 Jun 2019
Date Written: January 1, 2019
Over-the-counter markets are at the center of the post-crisis 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.
Keywords: over-the-counter trading, multilateral netting, derivatives, networks, financial regulation
JEL Classification: G20, G28, G15, C61, L14
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation