Trading platform Tradeweb in talks about US default contingency plans

May 12, 2023

NEW YORK (Reuters) – Bond trading platform Tradeweb is in talks with clients, industry groups and other market participants about contingency plans in case of a U.S. debt default, a spokesperson said on Friday.

Financial markets are jittery about the possibility that the U.S. Treasury could miss debt payments as President Joe Biden and top lawmakers remained deadlocked in talks over raising the $31.4 trillion federal borrowing limit.

As U.S. government bonds are seen as the building blocks of the global financial system, a potential default would send showckwaves across financial markets.

In response to a Reuters query, Tradeweb said it continued to “evolve its contingency plans” to ensure its clients could execute trades efficiently in any potential outcome.

The company operates electronic marketplaces for rates, credit, equities and money markets. It reported a total trading volume of $22.3 trillion last month.

“As the leading electronic trading platform for U.S. Treasuries, we will be ready with any necessary technical changes to the impacted securities,” a Tradeweb spokesperson told Reuters in a statement.

During the last decade, debt limit standoffs have largely been resolved before they could ripple out into markets, but a relatively short time frame and the Republican party’s narrow majority in Congress could make it harder to reach a compromise this time.

The U.S. Congressional Budget Office said in a report issued on Friday morning that there was “significant risk” of a historic default within the first two weeks of June.

(Reporting by Davide Barbuscia; editing by Jonathan Oatis and David Gregorio)


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