The Spread: Make Way for the SA-CCR

Matt Raebel

Matt Raebel


This week on The Spread, the OCC shatters its own records (again), Senator Loeffler sells put options, the SA-CCR is adopted early, and more.

Produced by Mike Forrester


Welcome to The Spread, I’m Matt Raebel. To start things off let’s check in with the OCC. Since Q1 is officially over, the OCC announced this week that they’ve kept the train going and shattered even more records. In March, they cleared over 670 million contracts, breaking their own record set a month ago for the highest volume of cleared options contracts in the history of the U.S. equity options industry. With how busy the options world has been lately, I’ve certainly been busier than usual these days. Everyone’s trading options, even Senators. Speaking of which, Senator Kelly Loeffler of Georgia – former CEO of Bakkt and wife of ICE CEO Jeffrey Sprecher – sold over 46 thousand dollars worth of stock in an online travel company right before Donald Trump announced the travel ban. In a new financial disclosure, Senator Loeffler shared her options trades from February and March, which reveal a sophisticated investment strategy on the part of her advisors involving the sale of put options. Spain, Italy, France and Belgium, as well as a few other European countries, started the week off on a cheerful note by imposing temporary bans on short selling Monday. The argument they are making is that during market routs, short selling makes things worse by driving prices down. Others, like SEC Chairman Jay Clayton, argue that that’s a terrible idea because it prevents the markets from functioning normally. If your toilet’s broken, removing the seat probably won’t fix the problem. On last week’s episode we discussed how a bunch of major exchanges, including Cboe, sent a letter to the Fed asking, “please sir, may we have some more?” And by more, I mean less regulatory constraint, which hopefully leads to more liquidity. Fortunately, they had better luck than Oliver Twist did; the Fed officially announced this week that it would be giving traders, market makers, and banks a little more leeway in these trying times by relaxing certain regulatory requirements, including greenlighting the early adoption of the SA-CCR. The SA-CCR is designed to be a sleek, sexy new way for banks and other big financial institutions to calculate total risk-weighted assets for derivatives trades in a way that is more risk-sensitive than the old method, which many believe will lead to greater liquidity in the options markets. Cboe President and CEO Ed Tilly seems to think so – Cboe released a statement saying the exchange was “gratified” by the decision. That’s gonna do it for this week. Hang in there, stay safe, and keep up the good work. We’ll see you next week.


OCC March Total Volume Up 62.8 Percent from a Year Ago – Highest Volume Month Ever for U.S. Equity Options Industry

SEC Chairman: Government Shouldn’t Ban Short Selling in Current Market
Paul Kiernan – WSJ

Georgia Senator Sold Travel Shares Ahead of Trump Flight Ban
Greg Farrell and Billy House – Bloomberg

Short-selling bans not useful: stock exchanges federation
Huw Jones – Reuters

Fed eases rule constricting capital for trading firms
Lynne Marek – Crain’s Chicago

Agencies Approve Early Adoption of SA-CCR, Delay of CECL Capital Phase-In
ABA Banking Journal

Regulatory Capital Rule: Revised Transition of the Current Expected Credit Losses  Methodology for Allowance
U.S. Federal Reserve

Standardized Approach for Calculating the Exposure Amount of Derivative Contracts
U.S. Federal Reserve

Cboe Global Markets Commends Federal Banking Agencies’ Action to Strengthen Market Liquidity in Response to COVID-19
Cboe Global Markets

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