1 Jan 2016

SwapClear : $533 trillion in transactions in 2015

Happy new year! Let's hope that the momentum for financial reform builds further in 2016.

To help focus our thoughts a bit, I would like just to report the latest figures from one of my favorite companies - LCH.Clearnet - who very kindly provide very detailed figures on all the trading that they handle at the end of every day on their website. And since they also provide Year to Date figures, it means that on the first of January, I can extract the complete data set for 2014. Here it is, with a breakdown of the percentage of trading for each of the currencies handled by LCH.Clearnet.
The total comes to nearly $533 trillion, which sounds like a very large number. And it is. But it's actually 17% less than the total of around  $641 trillion in 2014 (see my post from the 1st January 2014). It turns out the currencies that have been traded most have changed a lot since 2014. For example, trading in dollars has increased 34%, whereas Euro denominated trading is down 39%. And for some reason, trading in Singapore Dollars went up 85%. Don't ask me why.

LCH.Clearnet is also very happy to provide details about exactly what sorts of trading was involved. Here's the breakdown.

The biggest component is composed of Forward Rate Agreements (FRAs) at over $194 trillion, followed by Interest Rate Saps (IRS) at nearly $173 trillion, and Overnight Indexed Swaps (OIS) at $148 trillion.

Some of my readers will know that I'm very keen to see the European Central Bank applying an Financial Transacttion Tax on all Euro-denominated trading - whereever it occurs in the world. This would include LCH.Clearnet Ltd. So, here's the detailed breakdown for Euro trading.

As you can see, even if the incredible frenzy for Euro denominated trading seen in 2014 has calmed down (at the time, virtually 50% of all the trading was in Euros), the trading in 2015 still amounted to over €174 trillion. Tax that at 0.1% and you might raise over €100 billion in a single year. 

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