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Bank:Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago  Series:Policy Discussion Paper Series 

Discussion Paper
A CCP Is a CCP Is a CCP

Central counterparties (CCPs) are an important part of contemporary financial market infrastructure. The orderly risk management operations and financial resilience of CCPs and other market infrastructures are essential for financial stability.Regulators and other policymakers face a major challenge constructing appropriate regulatory frameworks for central clearing, given unique features of CCP risk profiles and, in particular, the mutualization of default losses. While CCPs may have superficial similarities to other infrastructures and exposed to risks like those borne by banks and other ...
Policy Discussion Paper Series

Discussion Paper
Small-Dollar Mortgages for Single-Family Residential Properties

There is a significant lack of financing available for low-cost homes, which many first-time homebuyers and low- and middle-income families rely on to move from renting to homeownership. This brief examines the availability of small-dollar mortgages (up to $70,000) for home purchases, refinances, and improvements, presenting a wealth of information on borrower and loan characteristics, production channels, and the geographic distribution of low-cost homes. We find that there is limited mortgage availability for the small loans needed to support the significant number of low-cost property ...
Policy Discussion Paper Series

Discussion Paper
Blockchain and Financial Market Innovation

Blockchain technology is likely to be a key source of future financial market innovation. It allows the creation of immutable records of transactions accessible by all participants in a network. A blockchaindatabase is made up of a number of blocks “chained” together through a reference in each block to the previous block. Each block records one or more transactions, which are essentially changes in the listed owner of assets. New blocks are added to the existing chain through a consensus mechanism in which members of the blockchain network confirm transactions as valid.While all are in ...
Policy Discussion Paper Series

Discussion Paper
Non-Default Loss Allocation at CCPs

In this paper, we answer three questions about the appropriate allocation of non-default losses at central counterparties (CCPs): 1) “Who should assume financial responsibility for a non-default loss?”, 2) “What portion of a non-default loss should each party pay?”, and 3) “How should CCPs and clearing members address catastrophic non-default losses?”. To answer the first question, we argue that financial responsibility should be shared among the parties whose decisions contributed to the loss. Determining whose decisions contributed to a loss requires an understanding of the type ...
Policy Discussion Paper Series

Discussion Paper
Externalities in securities clearing and settlement: Should securities CCPs clear trades for everyone?

The architecture of securities clearing and settlement in the United States creates an externality: Investors do not always bear the full cost of settlement risk for their trades and can impose some of these costs on the brokerages where they are customers. When markets are volatile and settlement risk is high, this externality can result in too much or too little trading relative to the efficient level, because investors ignore trading costs but brokerages may refuse to allow investors to trade. Both effects were evident during the recent volatility in GameStop stock. Alternative approaches ...
Policy Discussion Paper Series , Paper PDP-2021-02

Discussion Paper
Controlling risk in a lightning-speed trading environment

A small group of high-frequency algorithmic trading firms have invested heavily in technology to leverage the nexus of high-speed communications, mathematical advances, trading and high-speed computing. By doing so, they are able to complete trades at lightning speeds. High-frequency algorithmic trading strategies rely on computerized quantitative models that identify which type of financial instruments to buy or sell (e.g., stocks, options or futures), as well as the quantity, price, timing and location of the trades. These so-called black boxes are capable of reading market data, ...
Policy Discussion Paper Series , Paper PDP-2010-01

Discussion Paper
Estimating the volume of counterfeit U.S. currency in circulation worldwide: data and extrapolation

The incidence of currency counterfeiting and the possible total stock of counterfeits in circulation are popular topics of speculation and discussion in the press and are of substantial practical interest to the U.S. Treasury and the U.S. Secret Service. This paper assembles data from Federal Reserve and U.S. Secret Service sources and presents a range of estimates for the number of counterfeits in circulation. In addition, the paper presents figures on counterfeit passing activity by denomination, location, and method of production. The paper has two main conclusions: first, the stock of ...
Policy Discussion Paper Series , Paper PDP-2010-02

Discussion Paper
“YOLOing the Market”: Market Manipulation? Implications for Markets and Financial Stability

Since the start of the Covid-19 pandemic in 2020, retail investors have increasingly participated at higher rates in the U.S. equities markets, particularly in day trading and short-term trading. In January 2021, amid a surge of online postings and interest by retail investors who use free trading apps, GameStop stock began moving up and down by billions of dollars a day—resulting in big gains for some investors and billions in losses for others. To the extent the proliferation of free trading democratizes the market, increases the diversity of participants able to participate in the ...
Policy Discussion Paper Series , Paper PDP-2021-01

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