I currently have the honour and privilege of serving as chairman of the World Federation of Exchanges (WFE), as from the Federation’s 50th General Assembly in October 2010. I also would like to take this opportunity to thank our former chairman, William J. Brodsky for the leadership he provided us for the last two hectic years.
It is important to note that WFE member exchanges play major roles in the economies and societies where they operate. A few members now span several jurisdictions and time zones. Capital raising and secondary-market pricing remain the key function for the securities and securities options segments; standardized contracts for financial and raw materials products on futures markets provide essential pricing indicators for the world’s economy. All function in a well supervised environment, providing transparency and certainty of execution.
As US and European policymakers push ahead to complete drafting new rules to govern global securities market, the need for transparency and risk mitigation in global over-the-counter derivatives markets remains a critical focus. Although much of their initial focus was on requiring OTC derivative trades to be cleared through a central counterparty (CCP), policymakers and regulators are now examining other steps that are equally critical to helping mitigate risk, enhance transparency and ensure that regulators have access to crucial market data. One of the most effective proposals under consideration is to require the reporting of all OTC derivatives trades to a central repository where all underlying position data (and possibly transaction data) can be held, with unfettered access provided to all regulators globally. This paper explores the value of such a premise—particularly in terms of the powerful tool that a global repository provides for regulators—as well as the severe data fragmentation problems that are likely to hinder effective regulation if the result of policy decisions on both sides of the Atlantic is a reporting system that is not unified.
The 2008 financial crisis post mortems agree that growth of the OTC markets and the increased complexity of new instruments outstripped the industry’s capacity to manage them. Weaknesses in the OTC markets became evident all too rapidly during the crisis as the value of assets traded became difficult to assess, banks lost confidence in each other, and illiquidity spread.
With the passage of legislation in the United States to transform Over-the-Counter (OTC) derivatives market, and similar measures in the works in Europe, the leaders of exchange industry sought the most up-to-date information on one of largest and most opaque parts of modern finance.
Reform of these non-regulated markets and products has been a priority for the G20 governments and regulators. They have been seen as a central cause and accelerator of the crisis that brought down financial institutions.
The global derivatives market is a main pillar of the international financial system and economy. As an indispensable tool for risk management and investment purposes, derivatives are used by more than 94 percent of the world’s largest companies.1) They contribute to improving operational, information, price, valuation and allocation efficiency, thus substantially increasing the efficiency of financial and commodity markets.2)
Derivatives help lower the cost of capital and enable firms to effectively invest and channel their resources. These factors are an important driver of economic growth.3) Europe – as the most important region in the global derivatives market – stands to benefit immensely from the positive impact of derivatives.4)
Derivatives are traded in one of two ways: either over-the-counter or on regulated markets, i.e. on exchanges. Exchange-traded derivatives are fully standardized whereas most OTC derivatives are customized contracts between two trading parties.
The OTC segment accounts for 90 percent of the market in terms of notional amount outstanding.
Here, the market volume is split equally between bilateral trading among market participants and multilateral trading, i.e. trading across a number of different market participants on organized marketplaces) such as interdealer-brokers or electronic crossing networks.
On 18 September 2008 the SEC surprised the US financial markets by issuing an emergency order prohibiting the short selling of about 1,000 stocks of financial institutions from the NYSE, the AMEX, and the NASDAQ. Market authorities in the UK, France, Germany, and elsewhere took similar steps. The preamble to the SEC press release stated.
Short sellers still have a bad reputation. Pity, because they're better at exposing scams than the regulators
In the inglorious history of the financial markets, Napoleon stands out-not for his retreat from Russia, not for the Napoleonic Code, but for his hatred of a species of speculator known as the short seller. The emperor had no use for cynics who felt that his regime and its bonds faced a dim future, and who bet against him. Shorts were "enemies of the state," he reputedly said.
our respective anniversaries come at a critical juncture for the world economy. The financial crisis has been the worst one in our lifetime. It exposed massive failures in regulation, in supervision, in corporate governance and in risk management. The crisis also resulted in a major loss of confidence by the public in governments, in business and in finance.
The booming IPO market reflects the strong and continuous development of SMEs in China’s private sector in the last three decades. According to the Ministry of Commerce, there are over 10 million registered SMEs, accounting for 99% of all businesses in China. And 99% of the country’s SMEs are private businesses. Furthermore, Chinese SMEs are responsible for 60% of the nation’s GDP, 70% of exports, 80% of urban employment and 70% of patents for technological invention. Undoubtedly, SMEs are cornerstones for the nation’s economic growth and social well-being.