Looking for the answer to the question below related to Ratio Analysis ?
Which of the following does the most to reduce default risk for futures contracts_________
|A. High liquidity
B. Flexible delivery arrangements
C. Marking to market
D. Credit checks for both buyers and sellers
The Correct Answer Is:
- C. Marking to market
The correct answer is C. Marking to market. Marking to market is a crucial risk management mechanism in futures markets that significantly reduces default risk. Let’s delve into the reasons why this option is correct and why the other options are not as effective in reducing default risk for futures contracts:
C. Marking to market:
Marking to market is a process that occurs daily in futures markets, and it plays a pivotal role in reducing default risk. Here’s how it works:
1. Daily Valuation:
In marking to market, the value of each futures contract is determined and adjusted daily based on the current market price. This daily valuation process ensures that the contract reflects the prevailing market conditions accurately.
2. Margin Calls:
When a futures contract is marked to market, any gains or losses are immediately settled by the parties involved. If a trader incurs losses on their position, they must deposit additional funds (margin) into their trading account to cover these losses. Conversely, if they have gains, these may be withdrawn. The margin requirement serves as a financial cushion against potential losses.
3. Default Risk Mitigation:
Marking to market significantly reduces default risk because it ensures that losses are managed in real time. If a trader’s account balance falls below the required maintenance margin due to losses, they will be subject to a margin call.
If the trader does not meet the margin call, the position can be liquidated to cover the losses, preventing the risk of default. This process ensures that traders have the financial capacity to meet their obligations and minimizes the likelihood of contract default.
Now, let’s examine why the other options are not as effective in reducing default risk for futures contracts:
A. High liquidity:
While high liquidity is an important characteristic of futures markets, it alone does not directly reduce default risk. Liquidity ensures that there are sufficient buyers and sellers in the market, making it easier for traders to enter and exit positions.
However, it doesn’t mitigate the risk of default when one party cannot fulfill their financial obligations, which can occur due to adverse price movements. High liquidity may help in finding counterparties to close positions but does not address the risk of default when traders face margin calls.
B. Flexible delivery arrangements:
Flexible delivery arrangements refer to the ability to customize the terms of delivery in futures contracts, such as delivery dates and locations. While this flexibility is valuable for meeting the specific needs of market participants, it does not directly reduce default risk.
Default risk primarily arises from traders’ inability to meet margin calls, which marking to market helps address. The delivery terms are more related to the physical delivery process, while default risk is a financial consideration.
D. Credit checks for both buyers and sellers:
Conducting credit checks for both buyers and sellers can help assess their creditworthiness and reduce the risk of counterparty default. However, it is not as effective as marking to market in mitigating default risk in the context of futures contracts. Credit checks are an important aspect of due diligence, but they do not provide real-time risk management.
Default risk in futures markets is dynamic and can change rapidly with market price movements. Marking to market, on the other hand, ensures that gains and losses are continuously settled, reducing the risk of default in real time.
In conclusion, marking to market is the most effective mechanism for reducing default risk in futures contracts. It allows for the daily valuation of contracts, margin calls to cover losses, and real-time risk management.
While high liquidity, flexible delivery arrangements, and credit checks play important roles in the functioning of futures markets, they do not directly address the risk of default to the extent that marking to market does.
- Which of the following financial instruments is primarily used to transfer risk_____________
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