S&P affirms ‘AAA’ ratings on US clearings

Fears that the World Trade Center terrorist attacks on Tuesday would place severe strains on essential derivatives infrastructure used to support the country’s securities and commodities markets now appear overstated. "The rating affirmations... reflect their ability to meet all settlement obligations on a timely basis following the World Trade Center attacks on September 11," S&P said. Chicago’s BOTCC and OCC have collected all margin requirements from all clearing members and established essential communications links with their members. S&P added that BOTCC "did not miss a beat" when the Chicago Board of Trade, which lists government bond futures and options contracts, recommenced trading yesterday. "The DTC and the NSCC, both New York-based institutions that serve the nation’s stock exchanges, moved key operations to offsite locations and continued to seamlessly and transparently process and settle trades from before the World Trade Center tragedy – which settled three days after trade date – and for money market instruments which came due during the period. They, too, have established essential telecommunications with their respective members. These two institutions and OCC are prepared to establish normal business operations when the stock exchanges reopen on Monday, September 17," said S&P.

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