Nailing Down Derivatives

By Published On: October 9, 2009

In reporting on regulatory moves to harness energy trading, Circuit often refers to “complex” derivative financial instruments. Highlighting that adjective is one of several definitions of what constitutes a derivative listed below. The explanation was included in an October 2 discussion draft of legislation from the House Committee on Financial Services. These instruments “provide[s] on an executory basis for the exchange, on a fixed or contingent basis, of one or more payments based on the value or level of one or more interest or other rates, currencies, commodities, securities, instruments of indebtedness, indices, quantitative measures, or other financial or economic interests or property of any kind, or any interest therein or based on the value thereof, and that transfers, as between the parties to the transaction, in whole or in part, the financial risk associated with a future change in any such value or level without also conveying a current or future direct or indirect ownership interest in an asset (including any enterprise or investment pool) or liability that incorporates the financial risk so transferred, including any agreement, contract, or transaction commonly known as an interest rate swap, a rate floor, rate cap, rate collar, cross-currency rate swap, basis swap, currency swap, total return swap, equity index swap, equity swap, debt index swap, debt swap, credit spread, credit default swap, credit swap, weather swap, energy swap, metal swap, agricultural swap, emissions swap, or commodity swap.”

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