Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Buyers of protection on Lehman Brothers received $5.2 billion net

The Depository Trust & Clearing Corporation (DTCC) announced that its Trade Information Warehouse (Warehouse) successfully completed the automated credit event processing and settlement of over-the-counter (OTC) credit default swap (CDS) contracts related to the Lehman Brothers Holdings Inc. (Lehman) credit event. This processing resulted in approximately US$5.2 billion in net funds transfers from net sellers of protection to net buyers of protection. The portion of this net funds settlement allocable to trades between major dealers was settled through the normal settlement procedures of CLS Bank (the world's central settlement bank for foreign exchange, and the central settlement provider to the Warehouse) for Tuesday, October 21 without incident.

In November 2006, The Depository Trust and Clearing Corporation (DTCC) established its automated Trade Information Warehouse as the electronic central registry for credit default swaps. With a client base that includes virtually all global derivatives dealers and more than 1100 buy-side firms in 31 countries, the vast majority of credit default swaps traded have been registered in the Warehouse. In addition, all of the major global credit default swap dealers have registered in the Warehouse the vast majority all contracts executed among each other before the Warehouse's November 2006 launch. At the time of the bankruptcy of Lehman Brothers Inc., approximately $72 billion in credit default swaps written on Lehman Brothers were registered in the Warehouse.

One of the many central servicing functions of the Trade Information Warehouse is to calculate payments due on registered contracts, including cash payments due upon the occurrence of the insolvency of any company on which the contracts are written. Calculated amounts are netted on a bilateral basis, and then, for firms electing to use the service, transmitted to CLS Bank where they are combined with foreign exchange settlement obligations and settled on a multi-lateral net basis. Currently all major global credit default swap dealers use CLS Bank to settle obligations under credit default swaps. It is expected that all major institutional players in the credit default swap market will use the same process for settlement by the end of 2009. For Lehman Brothers Holdings Inc. the calculated amounts netted in the Warehouse on a bilateral basis amounted to approximately $21 billion. The $5.2 billion net funds transfer represents the net of these nets.

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