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An Empirical Analysis of Futures Margin Changes: Determinants and Policy Implications
Margin regulation raises two policy concerns. First, an alignment of margins to volatility can amplify procyclicality, leading to a build-up of excess leverage in good times and a forced deleverage in bad times. Second, competition among central counterparties (CCPs) can result in lower margin levels in order to attract more trading volume, which is referred to as a "race to the bottom." Motivated by these issues, we empirically analyze the determinants of margin changes by using a data set of various futures margins from Chicago Mercantile Exchange (CME) Group. We first find that CME ...