Financial Stability Paper No. 30
By David Murphy and Paul Nahai-Williamson
Central counterparties (CCPs) are a key feature of the post-crisis financial system, and it is vital that they are robust. Indeed, as Paul Tucker said, ‘it is an understatement that it would be a disaster if a clearing house failed’ (Tucker (2011)). Therefore the question of how safe CCPs are is an important one. A key regulatory standard for CCPs is ‘cover 2’: this states that systemically important clearing houses must have sufficient financial resources to ‘cover’, or be robust under the failure of, their two largest members in extreme but plausible circumstances. This is an unusual standard, in that it is independent of the number of members a CCP has. Therefore it is natural to ask how prudent the cover 2 standard is for different sizes of CCP. This is the question investigated in this paper.