Wednesday, March 14, 2012

CME Clearing Europe Vacates Registration as Derivatives Clearing Organization Prior to Greek CDS Payouts

CME Clearing's Head of Clearing &
Business Development,
Tina Hasenpusch
CME Clearing Europe has vacated its registration as a derivatives clearing organization, less than a week before the March 19th Greek debt auction, after which CDS payouts will be required.

CFTC Vacates CME Clearing Europe Limited Registration as a Derivatives Clearing Organization
Washington, DC—At the request of CME Clearing Europe Limited (CMECEL), pursuant to Section 7 of the Commodity Exchange Act, the Commodity Futures Trading Commission issued an Order on March 13, 2012, vacating the registration of CMECEL as a derivatives clearing organization.
The Order of Vacation is available on the CFTC’s website (see Related Links).

Why does one suppose the CME might ask to be vacated from CFTC registration only 6 days prior to March 19th when the Greek debt auction is held?

First, an overview of the CME Clearing:
"Welcome to CME Group's European clearing house. CME Clearing Europe has been established to offer greater choice of central counterparty clearing infrastructure to users of derivatives outside the US. CME Group has developed systems and operational and risk management standards that support its position as the world's largest and most diversified derivatives marketplace; and since 2002 has extended its clearing in the US to cover OTC derivatives: commodities, IRS and CDS. On the basis of those systems and the accumulated clearing experience and investment, CMECE aims to offer a full range of OTC derivatives clearing from its London base."

So it appears that the CME is scared s***less of the possibility of an imminent $50 trillion credit default swap seize up/ conflagration once the Greek CDS payouts begin after the March 19th Greek debt auction.  There is simply no other explanation for the CME to voluntarily request to vacate its registration as a derivatives clearing organization!

CME Clearing became registered on September 2nd, 2011 and requested to leave December 14th, 2011.

Interesting that the CME Clearing Europe had to supposedly notify the CFTC 90 days ago and it just happens to be approved by the CFTC only days after the ISDA decision that a credit event has occurred which will trigger the payout of CDSs.  There is no mention of the CME's request prior to today.

See PDF of full vacate request which is dated today below: