Derivatives market trades on Sunday to cut Lehman Brothers counter-party risk

September 14, 2008 by · Leave a Comment
Filed under: Economic News 

Unprecedented, this must be a signal that things are worse than most people think.  Opening a Sunday session for Smart money to unwind  their derivative position.  This week should be a rollercoaster ride.

News Release:

Major players in the $455 trillion global derivatives market rushed Sunday to scale back exposure to a potential bankruptcy filing by investment bank Lehman Brothers in a rare emergency trading session. Trading took place as U.S. regulators and bankers were making last-ditch efforts to prevent toxic assets from ailing Lehman Brothers spilling into global markets and rupturing investor faith in the international financial system.

“This is an extremely, and I stress extremely, rare event. It also speaks to the more general notion that, in today’s highly disrupted financial markets, the unthinkable is thinkable,” said Mohamed El-Erian, the chief executive of Pimco, the world’s biggest bond fund, based in Newport Beach, California.

The session opened at 2 p.m. New York time and was due to run until 4 p.m. (1800 to 2000 GMT), according to the International Swaps and Derivatives Association. ISDA later extended it for another two hours and some banks continued to offset their Lehman exposure even after the official session ended, according to a market source.

Trading involved credit, equity, rates, foreign exchange and commodity derivatives. ISDA estimates the OTC derivatives market excluding commodities has a value of $455 trillion.

Market sources said the special session was initiated by the Federal Reserve.  The aim is to reduce risk associated with a potential bankruptcy filing by Lehman Brothers Holdings Inc.

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