Net Notional

Here There Be Big Nymbers (Sic)

The earlier discussion of CDS, Einhorn, and the US UST-CDS basis trade, sparked a flurry of queries on the topic of "really big numbers." Therefore, even as ZH staff awaits the most recent data out of the BIS, we present for your numeric (in)comprehension pleasure lots and lots of zeroes. The chart below summarizes the biggest relevant numbers currently out there, appearing as pixels occasionally on every single computer in the financial world. And what does it say? That the total notional value of all OTC derivative contracts as of the most recent count (sucks to be on the recount committee), was $592,000,000,000,000.00 at the end of 2008. Fear not: this number is actually a reduction from the most recent previous read of $683,700,000,000,000.00 in June of 2008. Well wait, that thing we said about fear not, ignore that: because the net notional, or the market value of all OTC contracts, i.e. what someone (cough taxpayer cough) would be on the hook for when the Fed's plans go astray, increased by 66.5% over the same period, to $33,900,000,000,000.00. Like we said, big numbers - and this is just OTC. The real number includes regulated exchanges, and to estimate that, double the numbers above. In totality, the "sidebets" on everything from interest rates, to F/X to corporate default risk, amount to about $1.3-$1.4 quadrillion (that's 15 zeroes before the decimal comma) in terms of uncollateralized liquidity (think inflation buffer): take all those zeroes away and the value of the dollar would go down by 1E10-15: you listening yet American middle class? And the actual exposure, or "money at risk" is roughly $60 trillion: a number which is about the same as the world GDP if one were to remove all the various stimulus programs. Take away Goldman, JP Morgan, and all the other wannabe BSD's, and this is what you end up with: the heart and soul of the Too Big To Fail monster itself. And there is no way on earth to stop that mangled, mutated heartbeat without destroying the very fabric of both our capital markets and societal system. Please give the FederalReserve a golf clap for this truly amazing accomplishment.

A Detailed Look At Goldman's CDS Holdings And How CDS Trading Has Become The Squid's Multi-Billion Cash Cow

One of the more useful information items in Goldman's periodic filings is granular disclosure on the firm's CDS holdings, and specifically segregated data by maturity bucket and by spread as pertains to "maximum payout and notional amount of written credit derivatives." In essence, due to the firm's monopoly in CDS inventory and, therefore, trading, this is the squid's beating heart: between buying and selling (hopefully offsetting positions) CDS in billions of dollars worth of notional daily, and being able to capitalize on wide spreads, courtesy of the extinction of such traditional competitors as Bear and Lehman, the firm will continue to make hundreds of millions in profits every day, month and quarter, due to its newly found monopolist exposure when it comes to trading CDS, both as principal and as agent.

Latest DTCC CDS Update (Week Of September 30)

A week after the roll into new indices (HY13 and IG13) there was quite notable action in CDS land. Net notional change across all sectors was substantially negative to the tune of $282 billion, which however consisted primarily of matured transactions accounting for $330 billion of this number, implying the adjusted number was around positive $50 billion and a notable derisking. There likely has been a corresponding netting out on the New Transaction side over the past month as accounts were rolling existing positions.

Latest DTCC CDS Update (Week Of August 28)

The summer doldrums had hit the CDS market hard last week, with a barely noticeable rerisking across industries, for a total of $21.8 billion decrease in net open interest, on 7,014 contracts. The action was asymmetric with just two sectors accounting for the bulk of the action: Basic Materials and Consumer Services, at $28.7 billion and $30.7 billion, respectively. These were offset by derisking primarily in Financials ($16.8 billion) and State Bodies ($11.7 billion).

Latest DTCC CDS Update (Week Of August 14)

After several consecutive weeks of equity market mimicking and rerisking, the CDS market finally saw a net derisking in the week ended August 14, across virtually sectors, with the biggest action concentrated in the financials arena. Total net notional change was substantially higher than last week's -$14.5 billion, increasing to $66.1 billion, with a marked derisking in financials at $62.6 billion. Other notable derisking spaces were Consumer Services at $27.6 billion (again) and Utilities at $20 billion.

Latest DTCC CDS Update (Week Of August 7)

Continued substantial rerisking continued in financial last week, however at a slightly moderated rate. From the $96.2 billion net notional decline in the week ended July 31, the last week saw a $54.4 billion decline. Total net notional change was one tenth that of the previous week at -$14.5 billion, with a marked derisking in consumer services at $25.1 billion. Other notable derisking spaces were Industrials and State Bodies.

Fitch: Financial Companies Hold 99.7% Of All Derivative Contracts

Fitch has released a comprehensive study on derivatives held by various corporations and has come out with some disturbing results: as Zero Hedge's recent disclosure of data from the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency confirmed, the bulk of the derivative risk is concentrated not merely in the "financial company" category (99.7%) but in a subset of just five companies, which account for an "overwhelming majority" of derivative assets and liabilities.

Latest DTCC CDS Update (Week Of June 19)

The name of the game last week was the roll, with the expiration of the June contract leading to over $300 billion in Matured Transactions. New protection creation was delayed into the roll and this week will likely see a comparable pick up in new protection purchasing.

Latest DTCC CDS Update (Week Of June 19)

The name of the game last week was the roll, with the expiration of the June contract leading to over $300 billion in Matured Transactions. New protection creation was delayed into the roll and this week will likely see a comparable pick up in new protection purchasing. Approximately $200 billion in net notional exposure was removed from the system, however with $300 billion accounting solely to terminations, implies there was a net $100 billion purchasing offset that was not roll related.

Latest DTCC CDS Update (Week Of June 19)

The name of the game last week was the roll, with the expiration of the June contract leading to over $300 billion in Matured Transactions. New protection creation was delayed into the roll and this week will likely see a comparable pick up in new protection purchasing. Approximately $200 billion in net notional exposure was removed from the system, however with $300 billion accounting solely to terminations, implies there was a net $100 billion purchasing offset that was not roll related.

Latest DTCC CDS Update (Week Of June 12)

After three very volatile weeks, it seems the CDS world tapered off modestly. While action was rather subdued, the bulk of activity was focused on insurance buying, with over $63 billion in net notional being purchased in over 3,400 contracts. Total cumulative CDS action since the beginning of April grew to over $400 billion, and virtually all sectors are now net derisked over the past 2 months, with the consumer leading the risk parade.

Latest DTCC CDS Update (Week Of June 5)

After many weeks of cumulative derisking, the CDS market rerisked violently, most notably in the Consumer Goods and Consumer Service sectors, where a total of $169 billion in net notional open interest rerisking occurred. One explanation is that the big move is due to unwinding of new issue basis trades put on over the past month as horrendous companies issued all sorts of garbage debt.

Latest DTCC CDS Update (Week Of May 29)

Credit is now officially done with the rally. While last week's unprecedented $215 billion in CDS purchased will likely be a record for a while, this week saw yet another substantial $120 billion in net notional increase, based on 5,770 contracts exchanged. Also, net cumulative notional CDS by sector has surpassed the half a trillion mark since early April.

Latest DTCC CDS Update (Week Of May 29)

Credit is now officially done with the rally. While last week's unprecedented $215 billion in CDS purchased will likely be a record for a while, this week saw yet another substantial $120 billion in net notional increase, based on 5,770 contracts exchanged. Also, net cumulative notional CDS by sector has surpassed the half a trillion mark since early April.