Fixed Income Forum

Pre-Trade Price Transparency – It’s About Time

Pre-trade price transparency has been an ongoing challenge for the Fixed Income market. There are distinct personas, millions of bonds, multiple asset classes with distinct features and bonds with unique structures and cash-flows. The complexity is even more pronounced in the Municipal Market as the SEC highlighted in its 2012 Report on the Municipal Securities Market. This challenge, once seemingly insurmountable, has been confronted and a solution is at hand. It’s about time – in more ways than one.

Challenges for the Fixed Income Market

Achieving pre-trade price transparency in the Fixed Income market has been significantly more challenging than in equities or other exchange-traded asset classes. There are a number of factors that have contributed to Fixed Income’s “systemic blind spots” such as the size of the market, the complex and opaque market structure, and rules around trade reporting.

Compared to just a few thousand public equity tickers with generally standardized characteristics, Fixed Income, comprised of millions of active securities globally, is subdivided into many asset classes with distinct features and cashflow profiles. Mortgage-Backed Securities look nothing like Municipal Bonds or synthetic Credit Default Swaps referencing corporate entities. These are but a sampling of the diverse and disparate Fixed Income landscape.
 

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