Counterparty maze

Illustration of counterparty risk

Nine months on from the bankruptcy of Lehman Brothers in September 2008, regulators and governments are still scratching their heads to work out how large systemic risks in the financial system were allowed to go undetected. They are also starting to realise the collapse of a major financial institution doesn't just affect that firm's trading counterparties, but creates ripple effects that spread much further. Through winding networks of derivatives trades, the failure of a large institution in

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