06 November 2011

ICE Follows CME in Lowering Margin Requirements to Mute MF Global Impact

ZeroHedge initially misinterpreted the somewhat vague release from CME, raising an alarm amongst a number of people who sent it to me. And a number of people have since been critical of their mistake, which from what I could see was understandable. The CME release was very misleading.

ZH has since corrected it. And the ICE release makes the exchanges' intentions abundantly clear. When you are on the 'cutting edge' of releasing and interpreting news, it is possible to get it wrong once in a while. And it is to your credit to correct it as soon as you can, which has been done.

Zerohedge performs a valuable service in making headlines and news available to general readership in a timely manner, and I thank them for this. Sometimes the headlines are a bit sensational but that is what it is. But on net I am exceptionally glad that the site exists.

The exchange actions on margin may tend to quell some of the expected volatility from MF Global, which is good news to those who have accounts there which they are still trying to resolve.

But greater events are in motion, and it may end up having little lasting effect once the herd starts to move.

Exchange Actions Re: MF Global Inc.

Effective immediately, ICE Futures U.S. is temporarily
lowering the Initial Margin rate for all Speculative accounts to a
level equal to the Maintenance Margin rate for all contracts. The
Initial Margin rate for hedgers already is the same as the
Maintenance Margin rate.

This action is being taken to mute the impact of the transfer of
accounts from MF Global Inc. to other clearing members that
was effected overnight, and thereby support the integrity of
Exchange markets.