Financial derivatives
in The UK financial system (fifth edition)
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Financial Derivatives can be categorised according to the type of trade. The first is the category of exchange-traded instruments and the second refers to those instruments bought directly from a bank or other financial institution and these are called over-the-counter derivatives. This chapter examines the main derivative contracts used in financial markets. It considers the reasons for the development and growth of trading of financial derivatives over the last 30 or so years, and examines the organisation of trading at Intercontinental Exchange Futures Europe. The chapter also examines the nature of financial futures, options, swaps, forward rate agreements, contracts for difference and credit derivatives. It includes two case studies that illustrate the dangers of derivatives trading: Metalgesellschaft and Barings bank. The chapter summarises a selection of the studies that have examined the efficiency of derivatives markets.

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