Clearing Houses Could Face a Liquidity Crisis of Historic Proportions

Clearing houses could face a liquidity crisis
The stock market will mirror the commodity sector’s liquidity issue

The CFO of Trafigura just said clearing houses will collapse as “margin call doom loop” goes global.

Last week the commodities sector (oil, petroleum, metals and minerals) saw margin calls worth billions of dollars.

Trafigura Group is one of the world’s top oil and metal traders.

Trafigura has in recent weeks stepped up efforts to seek new funding from beyond its traditional group of bank lenders, according to people familiar with the matter. 

And no one is able to meet equity demands.

Let’s break it down together.

Welcome to – we’re seeing something very interesting unfold here as margin calls are triggered and short sellers brace for short squeezes.

Let’s dive right into it!

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“Margin call doom loop” goes global, Trafigura CFO warns

Trafigura CEO Margin Call Doom Loop
Clearing houses face liquidity issues – Trafigura CFO warns of ‘margin call doom loop’

Trafigura Group, one of the world’s top oil and metals traders, has been holding talks with private equity groups to secure additional financing as soaring prices trigger giant margin calls across the commodities industry.

The trader held talks with Blackstone Inc. for an investment of around $2 billion to $3 billion but those talks ended without a deal.

Trafigura has also approached Apollo Global Management Inc.BlackRock Inc. and KKR & Co.,.

The discussions have been based on raising funding due to several margin calls the commodity industry has been facing recently.

There’s no certainty any of the discussions will progress to a deal, they said. (Bloomberg)

These large companies facing margin calls are having a very big problem meeting demand.

Now, the increase in IM (initial margin) created demands on hedge funds and other investors.

Prepare for short squeezes

Studies have looked at the connection between margin calls and market stress, and most have focused on a margin call doom loop” in which higher margin requirements force fire sales into an already illiquid market.

This process then triggers more margin calls.

Financial institutions are going to be forced to sell assets, triggering short squeezes in heavily shorted stock.

The Dow Jones and NASDAQ are down today as ‘meme stocks’ are soaring.

AMC is up more than 24%, GME stock 11%, and HYMC more than 45%.

The price runups on AMC and GameStop shows us the stocks are merely getting warmed up.

We know this because of the short interest data (updated daily here).

As more market stress begins to settle, hedge funds will be required to keep up with their margin requirements or be forced to liquidate their positions.

clearing houses cash in margin

Globally, cash IM (in margin) is typically held by banks.

A bigger short squeeze than Nickel?

Nickel short squeeze

Analysts are expecting a bigger short squeeze than nickel to occur which soared more than 250%.

Although nickel is in the commodities sector, the financial system goes full circle.

The banks distribute cash and even bailout companies despite the industry.

“Expect much more commodity volatility, and many more multi-billion margin calls, until eventually the big one is triggered, one which leads to a near default not of the LME but of a far bigger clearinghouse.” ZeroHedge.

The liquidity issue in the commodity sector could threaten broader financial stability and create broad liquidity squeezes.

Trafigura’s chief financial officer warned that the spike in capital needed to keep commodities flowing around the world since Russia invaded Ukraine would squeeze smaller trading houses out of the market.

Bloomberg reported that trading houses have been seeking funds to maintain their physical and derivative positions as prices of everything from natural gas to metals soar.

Since commodities represent the basic building blocks of all products in an economy, the prices of commodities affect the operational costs of corporations.

This in turn affects prices in the stock market, further sparking margin calls in this sector.

What will happen as clearing houses require more liquidity?

Leave a comment below.

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  1. Matt Allen

    Question: If a great many companies are forced out of business due to margin calls, what will happen to Ape’s investment’s in things like AMC? Is it possible a vast number of margin calls and subsequent failing investment firms will result in our stocks not reacting to a short squeeze and thus, not climbing in value? I have limited knowledge of all of this so my question may not be pertinent. Thank you, M.

  2. Frank Nez

    Let’s start a discussion!

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