3 Apr 2012

London Stock Exchange buys out LCH.Clearnet Ltd

I've just learned that the London Stock Exchange Group is going to take over LCH.Clearnet Ltd - the group that handled 862 trillion pounds worth of transactions in 2008 but has mysteriously failed to provide the numbers for the BIS reports in 2009 and 2010. Well, since the London Stock Exchange hasn't provided the numbers for five years (see the details here), they will maybe feel at home.

But there is some hope. While the London Stock Exchange has been reluctant to provide the BIS with their numbers, their website is really very upfront about the value of trades. You can find out just how much is traded every day on their website.

You can even get the totals every 15 minutes. For example,  7 minutes ago, the total for the 3rd of April 2012 was £2,096,064,550. Now, just imagine if they provided  the same level of detail for all the operations being handled by LCH.Clearnet! If you remember from my earlier post, I've been able to work out that in 2011 LCH.Clearnet managed to handle €152 trillion of "Fixed income" transactions and $283 trillion of OTC derivative swaps, but I've not been able to work out what the level of transactions in commodities, listed derivatives and cash equities was.  But I suspect that the numbers are eye-watering. So, at the end of each day, the new LSE-LCH.Clearnet group could transfer 0.05% of the total to the state. Easy. And we could get rid of all the other taxes.

Now that's what I call a painless tax collection system. So, maybe LSE's decision to buy out LCH.Clearnet will be an excellent move. It will make it so much easier to apply the financial transaction tax.

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