Central counterparties – risk minimizers?

  • Magdalena Maria Kozińska Warsaw School of Economics (Banking Institute)
Keywords: central counterparties, central clearing obligation, systemic risk, risk management, crisis, too big to fail


Aim: Recently, central counterparties (CCPs) have gained on popularity due to their positive impact on the financial markets during crisis (limiting contagion on cleared instruments). The post-crisis reforms favored CCPs as risk minimizers. The aim of the article is to critically assess the functioning of the CCPs and their role in the financial system.

Design / Research methods: In order to attain the article’s goal, the critical analysis of the CCPs’ activity was performed. For that purpose, the regulations and mechanisms for CCPs’ functioning were considered. The next step was the analysis of the scale of CCPs’ activity and dependencies between CCPs and various market participants based on the accessible data. Based on the desk research and content analysis, the risks of CCPs were derived.

Conclusions / findings: CCPs are not risk minimizers, but they are risk managers (redistributors). Moreover, due to the significant increase in the their importance for the stable functioning of the financial markets, they should be treated as too big to fail institutions.

Originality / value of the article: The literature, especially polish, regarding the assessment of the CCPs’ roles and functions is relatively scarce, especially concerning the potential dangers conneted with them. The article contains the unbiased assessment of CCPs’ impact on the financial markets and proposes inventive treatment of CCPs as risk redistributors, which are too big to fail.


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