Depository Trust and Clearing Corp. is providing more information on the $47 trillion credit-default swaps market, after regulators pressed for more disclosure.
The New York company, which operates a central registry, published the largest 1,000 credit-default swap contracts on Tuesday. The data offers for the first time a clearer picture of the amount wagered on the creditworthiness of the world's companies and governments.
Mark Brickell, a former chairman of the International Swaps and Derivatives Association and the chief executive of Blackbird Holdings Inc., which provides an electronic trading system for derivatives, said the industry should "get the word out about the small size of these risks compared to the notional amounts on which the contracts are based."
The collapse of Lehman Brothers Holdings Inc. contributed to a decline in financial markets last month because no one knew how many contracts were outstanding on the securities firm, or who had held them. Estimates ranged as high as $400 billion, though the actual amount turned out to be $72 billion, according to DTCC.
After subtracting redundant trades, only $5.2 billion had to actually exchange hands, DTCC said last month in its first release of data from the warehouse.
Even the size of the market is up for debate. The ISDA says more than $47 trillion of contracts are outstanding, while the DTCC puts its estimate closer to $35 trillion.