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The Risk Controllers: Central Counterparty Clearing in Globalised Financial Markets by Peter Norman

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14

Risks and Opportunities

14.1 THE NEED TO MITIGATE RISK

The first decade of the 21st century began by delivering continuing prosperity, but it was soon punctuated by violent disruptions.

The dot.com boom and bust showed how stresses could spread quickly throughout the increasingly complex and intertwined global economy.

The 9/11 terrorist attacks on New York and Washington brought to the fore issues of operational risk, business continuity and the resilience of established infrastructures for CCPs and their users.

The bankruptcy of Enron, coming soon after the passing of the Commodity Futures Modernization Act, gave an impetus to clearing for OTC energy markets in the US, with ICE, the electronic market place, offering cleared contracts in partnership with LCH.Clearnet's London CCP before going on to acquire and develop its own clearing houses.

The economic benefits of CCP clearing continued to promote change in Chicago, helping supercharge the CME Group to its control of 98% of exchange traded futures in the US, for example. At the same time, the risk mitigating capabilities of clearing houses was increasingly prized.

Responding to globalisation, regulators from central banks and securities commissions drew up minimum international standards for CCPs that set benchmarks for operators and highlighted the different categories of risk that they faced.

The rapid growth of OTC trading, especially in the credit derivatives area, created post-trade processing problems that prompted ...

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