Credit markets round up: Credit derivative volumes boom

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Figures released by Isda during April show that the notional amount of credit default swaps outstanding during 2007 grew by 37% from the first half of the year to the second half. After the first six months of 2007 – before problems in the US sub-prime mortgage market tipped the credit markets into turmoil – there were $45.5 trillion of CDS outstanding but by the end of the year there were $62.2 billion. CDS notional growth for the whole year was a full 81%. The figures are a stark illustration of the extent to which CDS were embraced as a means of hedging credit risk when the markets turned.