On November 17, 2015, US Federal Reserve Board Governor, Jerome H. Powell, delivered a speech at The Clearing House annual conference discussing progress made in strengthening CCPs and expanding central clearing for repurchase agreement markets. Governor Powell touted global regulatory efforts to strengthen CCP resiliency, but noted that there is still work to be done due to the concentrated risks inherent to CCPs. His remarks focused largely on repurchase agreement transactions, where he enumerated the benefits of executing these transactions through a CCP. He noted that the use of a CCP provides market participants with greater transparency into potential risks by aggregating and standardizing market data. Additionally, CCPs may stabilize the financial system in the event of a defaulting counterparty by transferring defaulting positions to solvent parties, or otherwise managing such defaults, thereby reducing the risk of “fire sales” by non-defaulting counterparties. Finally, Governor Powell noted the risk-sharing benefits of utilizing CCPs. He concluded by urging regulators to consider implementing greater clearing solutions in markets with highly liquid assets, such as repurchase agreement trading for government and agency securities.

The speech is available at: http://www.federalreserve.gov/newsevents/speech/powell20151117a.htm