As another new year rolls around, industry watchers could be
forgiven for experiencing a profound sense of
déjà vu. Clearnet and LCH are rumoured to be
nearing a conclusion with its merger talks, CBoT is
deliberating over whether to base their electronic trading
platform on Eurex technology, and war in Iraq is on the horizon
- it all seems oddly familiar. A timely reminder that however
much things change, they stay the same.
The fact that, to some extent, we've been here before ought
to make the customary Issue 1 job of making predictions for the
year a little easier. But in a way, it serves more to point out
just how unpredictable these things can be. Surely this year we
shall see a merger, amalgamation, co-operation or otherwise
named combination of Clearnet and LCH. Surely. Then again, who
but the most cynical reader of the clearinghouses triumphant
press release of April 2000 ('Clearnet and LCH to create
consolidated European clearing house' they proclaimed) would
have predicted that almost three years later we would still be
holding our breath waiting for an outcome? And who but the most
optimistic would now discount any possibility that when 2004
comes round the words 'imminent' and 'oft-delayed' won't still
be peppering articles about the deal?
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