A proposal from the Securities and Exchange Commission could double the margin required of customers clearing credit default swaps contracts. "We exercised our authority and responsibility to protect all investors who are customers of the dealers by requiring prudent margin levels while we continue to work with the firms on a longer term solution," spokesman John Nester wrote in an e-mail. Some analysts think the requirement would be too high. "The viability of this margin regime is questionable," said Richie Prager of BlackRock.

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