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Sebastiano Michele Zema

17 November 2021
Financial Stability Review Issue 2, 2021
This box establishes stylised facts about the significant increase in initial margin (IM) in the euro area derivatives market during the March 2020 market turmoil. First, it shows that the increase was concentrated almost entirely in centrally cleared derivatives and driven mainly by equity, credit and interest rate portfolios. Second, by comparing static portfolios with those where portfolio repositioning took place, the IM increase is decomposed into (i) changes attributable to the CCP model sensitivity to market volatility, and (ii) changes attributable to portfolio repositioning by investors. For centrally cleared interest rate and credit derivatives (where this method is applicable), CCP model sensitivity to market volatility is found to be a key driver of the IM increase. Overall, the results suggest that it is important to develop a clearer understanding of “excessive procyclicality” for IM and possibly, on the basis of this common understanding, to review the models which CCPs use to calibrate IMs. The supervisory and regulatory framework governing the liquidity management of market participants, and in particular that of some non-bank financial intermediaries, should also be strengthened.
JEL Code
C60 : Mathematical and Quantitative Methods→Mathematical Methods, Programming Models, Mathematical and Simulation Modeling→General
G10 : Financial Economics→General Financial Markets→General
G13 : Financial Economics→General Financial Markets→Contingent Pricing, Futures Pricing