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Contracting Innovations and the Evolution of Exchange Clearinghouses

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  • Moser, James T

Abstract

Defining futures contracts as substitutes for associated cash transactions enables a discussion of the evolution of controls over contract nonperformance risk. These controls are incorporated into exchange methods for clearing contracts. Three clearing methods are discussed: direct, ringing and complete. The incidence and operation of each are described. Direct-clearing systems feature bilateral contracts with terms specified by the counterparties to the contract. Exchanges relying on direct clearing systems chiefly serve as mediators in trade disputes. Ringing is shown to facilitate contract offset by increasing the number of potential counterparties. Ringing settlements reduce counterparty credit risk by reducing the accumulation of dependencies as contracts are offset. Ringing settlements also lower the cost of maintaining open contract positions, chiefly by lowering the amount of required margin deposits. Exchanges employing ringing methods generally adopted a clearinghouse to handle payments. Complete clearing interposes the clearinghouse as counterparty to every contract. This measure ensures that contracts are fungible with respect to both the underlying commodity and counterparty risk.

Suggested Citation

  • Moser, James T, 1998. "Contracting Innovations and the Evolution of Exchange Clearinghouses," MPRA Paper 35202, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  • Handle: RePEc:pra:mprapa:35202
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    File URL: https://mpra.ub.uni-muenchen.de/35202/1/MPRA_paper_35202.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Telser, Lester G, 1986. "Futures and Actual Markets: How They Are Related," The Journal of Business, University of Chicago Press, vol. 59(2), pages 5-20, April.
    2. Baer, Herbert L. & France, Virginia G. & Moser, James T., 1994. "Opportunity cost and prudentiality : an analysis of futures clearinghouse behavior," Policy Research Working Paper Series 1340, The World Bank.
    3. Cox, John C. & Ingersoll, Jonathan Jr. & Ross, Stephen A., 1981. "The relation between forward prices and futures prices," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 9(4), pages 321-346, December.
    4. Smith, Clifford Jr. & Warner, Jerold B., 1979. "On financial contracting : An analysis of bond covenants," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 7(2), pages 117-161, June.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Clearing House; Clearinghouse; Futures;

    JEL classification:

    • G2 - Financial Economics - - Financial Institutions and Services
    • O16 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Financial Markets; Saving and Capital Investment; Corporate Finance and Governance
    • Q14 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Agriculture - - - Agricultural Finance

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