The Dynamics of Inclusion and Exclusion
Edited by Peter Mooslechner, Helene Schuberth and Beat Weber
Chapter 7: The Governance of OTC Derivatives Markets
Eleni Tsingou INTRODUCTION Over-the-counter (OTC) derivatives markets are an important component of transnational financial transactions and are thus significant when we consider the governance of the financial system. The volume of the market is a considerable part of global financial activity and is rapidly growing. Statistics on the OTC market show that at the end of 1990, the amount of outstanding contracts was an estimated USD 3.45 trillion. By the end of 1994 the amount had increased to USD 11.3 trillion (Bank for International Settlements 1996) and by the end of 1999 had reached USD 88.2 trillion (Bank for International Settlements 2000). In the most recent survey, the amount of outstanding contracts at the end of 2004 stood at USD 248 trillion (Bank for International Settlements 2005).1 The nature of the instruments has puzzled practitioners and regulators alike. Derivatives carry leverage: Most users are interested in derivatives because they allow them to hedge against risks, such as market and credit risks linked to interest and exchange rate variations or the solvency of counterparties. However, some users are undoubtedly taking some risk in handling them and arguably embrace risk in the pursuit of gains. Finally, derivatives contracts have over the years become increasingly complex and the OTC market has allowed the development of ever more specific and ‘personalized’ instruments; this has technical implications for oversight. Interest in OTC derivatives, both regulatory and in the private sector, grew in the early years of the 1990s as the instruments became increasingly popular...
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