Category Archives: Commentary

Is a crisis a crisis if everyone knows its coming?

(also published on the Greenwich Associates blog) A crisis is a crisis because most people didn’t see it coming. Unexpected events freaks people out causing a bad chain of events – a crisis. So despite evidence that a liquidity crisis is on the horizon in the bond market, wide spread recognition that this crisis is… Read More »

Corporate End Users Unfazed by Derivatives Reform

Earlier this year we spoke with just shy of 400 corporate treasurers about their use of interest rate derivatives.  Given this group of IRD users isn’t covered as closely from a market structure perspective as financial end users, I was excited to see what trends we could find within the interview responses.  So with the… Read More »

Where in the world is volatility?

I’m a little obsessed with volatility lately – well, the lack of it actually.  The VIX has been hovering around 12 for months despite emerging markets turmoil, rigging scandals and regulatory environment that can only be described as volatile. How can volatility be so low in a market where complexity and uncertainty are so high? Calm markets… Read More »

ETFs as part of the credit liquidity story

Liquidity in the corporate bond market is tough.  We’ve written about it time and time again.  At a high level we see two solutions.  One, inject new electronic trading tools and liquidity providers into the existing corporate bond market to better match buyers and sellers (a theme discussed in our 2014 European Fixed Income Study).  Two,… Read More »

Package trade rules – can they do that?

On Thursday May 1 the CFTC released an eagerly awaited clarifying document outlining when and how package trades would be required on SEF.  Packaged transactions will be phased in by type from May 15th through November 15th, and to deal with the pre-trade credit checking issue (checking limits against each leg as opposed to the limit utilization… Read More »

FX volumes are down, but its more than just economics

First some admin notes.  We’ve recently created an official Greenwich Associates market structure blog.  The goal was to create a seamless method for us to get new research and commentary out to the market.  The market structure commentary I’ve been posting here at Kevin on the Street will mostly all end up on the new… Read More »

What is Market Structure, And Why You Should Care

If you work in institutional finance you’ve heard talk of market structure. Not only are there entire conferences dedicated to the topic, but most of the participants at those conferences— banks, asset managers, researchers—send their heads of market structure to speak. Commonly used in economics to describe the interconnectedness of and interaction between the buyers… Read More »

SEF volumes died last week – so when and where will they return?

Turned out the first week of mandatory SEF trading was a Big Bang, just in the wrong direction.  Reported SEF volumes for interest rate swaps fell off a cliff for the week of February 17th, dropping 64% (revised down slightly as new data became available) from the 2014 weekly average SEF traded volume (thanks as… Read More »

SEF Day 1: A Big Deal but Not a Big Bang

Tuesday February 18th is certainly a big deal.  Requiring swaps to trade on registered platforms was one of the primary tenets of derivatives reform since shortly after the Lehman bankruptcy, and finally the day has arrived.  This is the first regulatory driven change since 2008 that will deeply impact the way sell side and buy… Read More »