New Isda credit derivatives chair warns against complacency

Derek Smith, head of US credit derivatives trading at Goldman Sachs and the new North American chair for the International Swaps and Derivatives Association's credit derivatives market practice committee, believes market participants need to beware of becoming complacent due to the current benign cycle that has seen fewer credit derivatives controversies occurring.

Smith, who replaced Blythe Masters, head of the policy and strategy group at JP Morgan Chase as the Isda group’s chair earlier this year, says some keys issues remain to be tackled. “There are still questions of whether the bankruptcy and restructuring definitions are as tight as they should be,” said Smith. “Any time when there are no credit events occurring, it is easy not to worry about these issues.”

Smith will chair his first meeting of the credit derivatives market practice committee before the end of the year, although this may be in a different format to old committee meetings. He added that the committee is looking to establish best-practice disciplines on second-generation credit derivatives products such as credit default swaptions and tranched products.

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