2012-12-22 —

About 40 percent of existing swaps are already being cleared by firms such as London-based LCH and Atlanta-based Intercontinental. Another 39 percent are covered by the new rules, according to consulting firm Tabb Group LLC, doubling at a single stroke the trading entrusted to clearinghouses.

The goal of this massive shift in risk is to avoid meltdowns like the ones in 2008 that triggered American International Group Inc. (AIG)'s $182 billion bailout after the insurer couldn't make good on its trades and almost destroyed the world's biggest banks.

To keep the system working safely, clearinghouses count on the collateral they collect, then on reserves in guaranty funds and the power in emergencies to demand billions more in cash from their members, which include global titans such as Deutsche Bank AG (DBK), Citigroup (C) Inc. and Barclays Plc. (BARC)

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