Suppose you were driving a car that careened toward a cliff and stopped as it went half on, half off the edge and swayed. Enter Ben Bernanke, or any of his several successors. The White House posts its offering: Fed chairman to replace dangling driver wanted.
As we approach two potential national crises — a government shut-down and a default on federal debt — fertile minds will shift toward whether there is a financial tool to alleviate those risks. Futures contracts and options have long served as mitigators of risk. Why not here?
It hardly makes sense for the CFTC to pursue an appeal from a federal district court decision invalidating an earlier rule on speculative position limits when it is on the cusp of enacting new rules on the subject that (hopefully) will pass muster in the courts.
In both the securities and derivatives worlds, new rivals have emerged to offer comparable services for similar transactions. Here we question whether exchange mergers can stem the gains made by those alternatives.