The Role of Clearinghouses in Over-The-Counter Derivatives


Since the world economic crisis finance gurus have been systematically reducing systemic risk in the OTC Derivatives Market. Since the public doesn’t want a repeat of the crisis, we have been tuning into how they try to reduce risk. One of the most agreed upon methods is to using clearing houses for clearing derivative trades.

The main mechanisms to reduce system risk are:

  • Require that as many product types are possible are centrally cleared and traded on exchanges or similar trading facilities
  • Subject swap dealers and large market participants to capital and margin requirements (which are imposed by clearing houses)
  • Require the public reporting of transaction and pricing data on uncleared and cleared swaps

What Are Clearing Houses?

Before we take a look at how clearing houses are applicable to the other-the-counter (OTC) derivatives market, it’s important that we understand the basic concept of a clearing house.

A clearing house is a middleman between sellers and buyers and assumes the opposite position of each side of the trade.  Once two parties agree on a transaction such as interest rate Swaps, the clearing house will ensure the smooth functioning of the financial transaction. For example, if you agreed to sell 150 shares of your company to John for £10,000, the clearing house will guarantee that John receives his shares and you receive your payment.

Without clearing houses, fewer transactions would take place as sellers and buyers would be weary about the counter-party.

OTC derivatives

One of the primary goals of the reforms after the crisis is to reduce the risk for clients trading derivatives such as Interest Rate Swap Claims. Clearing for Interest Rate Derivatives has been underway for sometime. There has been an increased amount of pressure placed on traders of OTC derivatives to make their trades on an open exchange with the clearing house to prevent defaults.

The clearing house would use their mechanisms such as default guarantee funds, background checks, financial monitoring of their parties and margins to prevent trades from collapsing.

The clearing requirement notion that has been introduced since the global crisis on OTC trades requires that a clearing house clear all eligible derivatives. The clearing house will provide critical risk mitigation by mutualizing the losses from a clearing members failure to pay up on their end of the deal and they will also require that all parties have collateral. Clearing houses provide trade reporting and transparency to the OTC derivatives market including prices, position data, etc.

Therefore, the clearing house remove the opacity in the OTC derivatives market to make it safer not only for their direct participants but its potential domino effect on the smaller financial transactions and even the individual.

A clearing house aims to change the OTC derivatives market from one that is tremendously opaque and vulnerable to losses to one that is safer for every party.

Smoothies for Fussy Eaters


If you are dealing with fussy eaters in the house, smoothies just might be the answer that you’ve been looking for. They are affordable, quick, easy, delicious and packed full of vitamins and minerals which are essential for your kids health.

You can opt for green smoothies, which are packed full of both vegetables and fruits, or fruit smoothies. It’s generally a good idea to start with fruit smoothies until they get use to the flavours and then gradually add vegetables and introducing them to the idea of drinking something green.

Smoothies offer pure nutrition for your family, particularly your fussy eater. The amount of vitamins and minerals that you’ll have depends on the vegetables and fruits that you choose but most are packed full of vitamins A and C, potassium and you can guarantee you’ll add some fruits and vegetables that have folate, magnesium and beta cartone. Additionally, fruit and vegetable smoothies are packed full of fibre, which is essential for slow digestion and blood sugar and cholesterol control.

Tips for Smoothies:

Another great thing about smoothies is the fact you can basically throw fruits, vegetables and a base in the blender and it will be delicious but if you want your smoothies to be superb then follow these tips:

  • Bananas erase a bad taste. If you don’t like the taste of your smoothies simply add a banana or two. (Keep a few bananas frozen for your smoothies).
  • Start with the fruits (and veggies) your family loves and add from there.
  • Don’t add sugar. Fruits already add plenty of natural sugar. If you need it to be sweeter then add more fruits.
  • Add wet and soft ingredients first then tough and dry ingredient. This will give your smoothies the perfect texture.
  • Add yoghurt, milk, silken tofu, flax seeds, etc. for extra nutrition.
  • Try experimenting with nut butters, such as peanut, almonds, cashews, etc.) For a creamy consistency with additional protein
  • Use frozen fruit rather than ice-cubes

Here are some healthy recipes for kids:

Brainy berry smoothie

- 1 cup of pomegranate juice

- 1 cup of frozen blue berries

- 2 tablespoons wheat germ

- 1 avocado (pitted and peeled)

- ¼ cup of almonds

Carrot and strawberry smoothie

- 1 banana

- 2 carrots

- 1 cup of frozen strawberries

- 1 cup of ice

- 1 cup of almond milk (or any type of milk would work)

Green smoothie with orange juice

- 1 cup of orange juice

- Handful of ice cubes (6-7) or you could use frozen fruit that your family loves

- 1 cup of baby spinach leaves

- ½ cup of vanilla yoghurt

- ½ banana

Cherry strawberry smoothie

- 1 banana

- 1 cup of frozen cherries

- 1 cup of frozen strawberries

- 1 cup of spinach

- 1 cup of milk

- 1 cup of ice

Antioxidant smoothie

- 1 cup of kale leaves

- 1 cup of mixed frozen berries

- 1 tablespoon of flax seed

- 1 cup of pomegranate juice

Smoothies have incredible benefits for your fussy eater. Whether you choose to give him/her a smoothie for breakfast, afterschool snack or even if they just want a light dinner, you can get rest your worried mind knowing that they have received plenty of vitamins and minerals and they enjoyed it. Best of all, it’s delicious and healthy for mum and dad too.

Please watch the video below for more informations and suggestions for smoothies for fussy eaters.

Physiotherapy for Pregnant Women


Have you accepted back, pelvic and rib pain as ‘part of pregnancy’ or even an uncontrollable bladder? Then you are not alone. A lot of women accept pain and discomfort as something you sign up for when you’re pregnant but in actuality, this special and unique experience doesn’t have to be uncomfortable or painful. With the right physiotherapy treatment and exercises you can genuinely and comfortably enjoy this cherished experience.

It is true that pain such as lower back pain are common during pregnancy but that doesn’t necessarily mean normal. During pregnancy, ligaments become softer to prepare for labour, which causes strain on your joints, lower back and pelvis. If you are experiencing back, pelvic or leg pain, ask your GP to refer to you to the appropriate specialist such as a physiotherapist or osteopath.

Pain Relief

According to a friend who is a chiropractor, between 50 – 70% of pregnant woman experience back pain for a variety of reasons but the most common reasons are:

  • Hormones increase
  • Change in the body’s centre of gravity
  • Bad posture
  • Stress
  • Additional weight
  • Decrease in physical activity

All of these factors are interdependent on each other and rather than focusing on one you have to access them all together. For example, the change in your centre of gravity from the baby bump causes improper posture, which causes misalignment, and then your muscles work harder. This makes exercise and physical activity harder and this can lead to an increase in stress.

Women who are in physical pain during pregnancy might be surprised to learn that the common reasons for lower back pain, leg cramps and pelvic pain can actually be easier to cope with if they practice exercises and stretches recommended by a chiropodist.  Treatment plans are comprehensive approaches that focus on pain triggers including posture, muscle strength, nerves, joint alignment and flexibility.

Exercise, stretching and strengthen routines can help increase muscle strength in the hips, back and core which will prepare for carrying a child and for labour. Best of all, doing physiotherapy during pregnancy will help with the recovery after delivery and make returning to your pre-pregnant body easier.

When you are choosing a physiotherapy program for your pregnancy it is important to find a program that focuses on strength building, increased flexibility, proper posture, seeks to strengthen weak areas and also has home based elements.

After a few visits with a physiotherapist they should incorporate exercises that you do at home on your own or with a partner. The physiotherapist will choose exercises that are specialised to your body and ailments so that you can have an easier pregnancy. They should teach you how to support your bump and back, how to avoid leg cramps and varicose veins, how to make everyday task easier and also focus on pelvic exercises to strengthen it for the delivery.

If you have moderate to severe back, leg or pelvic pain and even stress, depression and limited mobility then contacting a physiotherapist can turn your pregnancy around so that you enjoy your first 9-months with your child.

For more information, watch the video below.