Banks Hedge Rate Swaps Quickly

New York Fed study concludes price reporting might not interfere with hedging.

Most big trades between the world’s largest banks and customers in the $442 trillion interest-rate swap market are hedged within 30 minutes of the transaction, according to the Federal Reserve Bank of New York.

Researchers at the Fed analyzed three months of interest-rate derivative market information for a study released today on how public price reporting may affect trading in the instruments. The report found that the 14 largest banks offset their trades within half an hour about 60 percent of the time. That contrasts with hedging in the credit-default swap market, because banks can hedge risk in rates more easily, the report said. Delays in reporting large trades are being debated by U.S. regulators to offer time for banks to offset the risk they take.

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