Clearinghouses support financial trades by keeping records of transactions and by providing liquidity through short-term credit that is periodically cleared by participants. We study efficient clearing arrangements for formal exchanges, where traders must clear with a clearinghouse, and for over-the-counter (OTC) markets, where trades can be cleared bilaterally. When clearing is costly, we show that it can be efficient to subsidize the clearing process for OTC transactions by charging a higher price for the clearing of transactions in exchanges. This necessitates a clearinghouse that operates across both markets. As a clearinghouse offers credit, intertemporal incentives are needed in order to ensure settlement. An increase in the costs of liquidity provision worsens the incentives to settle. Hence, when liquidity costs increase, concerns about default must lead to a tightening of liquidity provision.
Clearing OTC vs Exchanges Private Information Liquidity Costs Default