According to Reuters, U.S. Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation Chairman Martin Gruenberg and Bank of England Governor Mark Carney are calling on the International Swaps and Derivatives Association (ISDA) to change some of the rules behind derivative trading. This is in hopes of creating a safer market place. Specifically, the two are looking to add what they are calling a “short delay” in closing contracts for failing banks.
The call for change to the ISDA comes in the wake of the collapse of Lehman Brothers and the ensuing 2008 financial crisis. The delay will allow regulators and failing banks to sell off contracts in a more orderly fashion, reducing volatility in the market.
It was originally thought that the timely closing of contracts was best, as it maintained clarity within the market. However, regulators now feel that giving banks time to sell off their contracts may help to turn some of their debt into capital in emergencies, maximizing potential for survival and minimizing disruption to the market.
While Gruenberg and Carney are calling for the ISDA to change the rule fairly quickly, it seems unlikely that market participants will be willing to give up rights to rapid closing of contracts without a legal precedent. Given the current minimal state of necessary legal language within the proposal, and with the courts’ history on passing laws like this, seeing any sort of progress may still be a ways off.