|12 Months Ended|
Dec. 31, 2012
|Derivative Instruments and Hedging Activities Disclosure [Abstract]|
A derivative is an instrument whose value is derived from an underlying instrument or index, such as interest rates, equity security prices, currencies, commodity prices or credit spreads. Derivatives include futures, forwards, swaps, option contracts, and other financial instruments with similar characteristics. Derivative contracts often involve future commitments to exchange interest payment streams or currencies based on a notional or contractual amount (e.g., interest rate swaps or currency forwards) or to purchase or sell other financial instruments at specified terms on a specified date (e.g., options to buy or sell securities or currencies).
Derivatives Accounting establishes accounting and reporting standards for derivative instruments, including certain derivative instruments embedded in other contracts (“embedded derivatives”) and for hedging activities. Derivatives Accounting requires that an entity recognize all derivatives as either assets or liabilities and measure those instruments at fair value. The fair value of all derivatives and associated cash collateral is recorded on a net-by-counterparty basis on the Consolidated Balance Sheets where Merrill Lynch believes a legal right of offset exists under an enforceable netting agreement. All derivatives, including bifurcated embedded derivatives within structured notes, are reported on the Consolidated Balance Sheets as trading assets and liabilities.
The accounting for changes in fair value of a derivative instrument depends on its intended use and if it is designated and qualifies as an accounting hedging instrument under Derivatives Accounting.
Merrill Lynch enters into derivatives to facilitate client transactions, for trading and financing purposes, and to manage risk exposures arising from trading assets and liabilities. Changes in fair value for these derivatives are reported in current period earnings as principal transactions revenues.
Derivatives that contain a significant financing element
Merrill Lynch may enter into certain transactions that are documented as derivatives where a significant cash investment is made by one party. Certain derivative instruments that contain a significant financing element at inception and where Merrill Lynch is deemed to be the borrower are included in financing activities in the Consolidated Statements of Cash Flows. The cash flows from all other derivative transactions that do not contain a significant financing element at inception are included in operating activities.
Merrill Lynch also enters into derivatives in order to manage risk exposures arising from assets and liabilities not carried at fair value as follows:
Changes in the fair value of these interest rate and foreign currency derivatives are reported in interest expense or other revenues.
Certain derivatives, primarily entered into with an affiliate, qualify as accounting hedges under Derivatives Accounting. These derivatives are designated as one of the following:
1. A hedge of the fair value of a recognized asset or liability (“fair value hedge”). Changes in the fair value of derivatives that are designated and qualify as fair value hedges of interest rate risk, foreign exchange risk and commodity price risk, along with the gain or loss on the hedged asset or liability that is attributable to the hedged risk, are recorded in current period earnings as interest expense, other revenues, or principal transactions.
2. A hedge of the variability of cash flows to be received or paid related to a recognized asset, liability or forecasted transaction (“cash flow hedge”). Changes in the fair value of derivatives that are designated and qualify as cash flow hedges are recorded in OCI until earnings are affected by the variability of cash flows of the hedged asset or liability or when the forecasted purchase or sale occurs. All cash flow hedges were de-designated in 2011. The amount remaining in OCI that is expected to be reclassified into earnings in the next 12 months is not material.
3. A hedge of a net investment in a foreign operation (“net investment hedge”). Changes in the fair value of derivatives that are designated and qualify as hedges of a net investment in a foreign operation are recorded in the foreign currency translation adjustment account within OCI. Changes in the fair value of the hedging instruments that are associated with the difference between the spot rate and the contracted forward rate are recorded in current period earnings in other revenues.
Merrill Lynch formally assesses, both at the inception of the hedge and on an ongoing basis, whether the hedging derivatives are highly effective in offsetting changes in fair value or cash flows of hedged items. Merrill Lynch uses regression analysis at the hedge's inception and for each reporting period thereafter to assess whether the derivative used in its hedging transaction is expected to be and has been highly effective in offsetting changes in the fair value or cash flows of the hedged item. When it is determined that a derivative is not highly effective as a hedge, Merrill Lynch discontinues hedge accounting.
Hedge accounting activity for the years ended December 31, 2012, 2011 and 2010 included the following:
Fair value hedges
The table below summarizes certain information related to fair value hedges for 2012, 2011 and 2010, including hedges of interest rate risk on long-term borrowings that were adjusted and redesignated as part of Bank of America's acquisition of Merrill Lynch. At redesignation, the fair value of the derivatives was negative. As the derivatives mature, their fair value will approach zero. As a result, ineffectiveness may occur and the fair value changes in the derivatives and the long-term borrowings being hedged may be directionally the same in certain scenarios. Based on a regression analysis, the derivatives continue to be highly effective at offsetting changes in the fair value of the long-term borrowings attributable to interest rate risk.
Cash flow hedges
Net investment hedges of foreign operations
Other Risk Management Derivatives
Other risk management derivatives are used by Merrill Lynch to reduce certain risk exposures. These derivatives are not qualifying accounting hedges because either they did not qualify for, or were not designated as, accounting hedges. The table below presents net gains (losses) on these derivatives for the years ended December 31, 2012, 2011 and 2010. These net gains (losses) are largely offset by the income or expense that is recorded on the hedged item.
Net gains (losses) on other risk management derivatives
Interest rate risk primarily relates to derivatives used to economically hedge long-term borrowings. Foreign currency risk primarily relates to economic hedges of foreign currency denominated transactions that generate earnings upon remeasurement in accordance with ASC 830-20, Foreign Currency Transactions (“Foreign Currency Transactions”). As both the remeasurement of the foreign currency risk on the transaction and the changes in fair value of the derivative are recorded in earnings, hedge accounting is not applied. Credit risk relates to credit default swaps used to economically manage the credit risk on certain loans not included in trading activities.
Derivative balances by primary risk
Derivative instruments contain numerous market risks. In particular, most derivatives have interest rate risk, as they contain an element of financing risk that is affected by changes in interest rates. Additionally, derivatives expose Merrill Lynch to counterparty credit risk, although this is generally mitigated by collateral margining and netting arrangements. For disclosure purposes below, the primary risk of a derivative is largely determined by the business that is engaging in the derivative activity. For instance, a derivative that is initiated by an equities derivative business will generally have equity price risk as its primary underlying market risk and is classified as such for the purposes of this disclosure, despite the fact that there may be other market risks that affect the value of the instrument.
The following tables identify the primary risk for derivative instruments, which includes trading, non-trading and bifurcated embedded derivatives, at December 31, 2012 and December 31, 2011. The primary risk is provided on a gross basis, prior to the application of counterparty and cash collateral netting.
Merrill Lynch enters into trading derivatives and non-derivative cash instruments to facilitate client transactions, for trading and financing purposes, and to manage risk exposures arising from trading assets and liabilities. The resulting risk from derivatives and non-derivative cash instruments is managed on a portfolio basis as part of Merrill Lynch's sales and trading activities and the related revenue is recorded on different income statement line items, including principal transactions, commissions, other revenues and net interest expense.
Sales and trading revenue includes changes in fair value and realized gains and losses on the sales of trading and other assets, which are included in principal transactions and other revenues, net interest expense, and commissions. Initial trading related revenue is generated by the difference in the client price for an instrument and the price at which the trading desk can execute the trade in the dealer market. That revenue is included within principal transactions on the Consolidated Statements of Earnings (Loss). For equity securities, commissions related to purchases and sales are recorded in commissions on the Consolidated Statements of Earnings (Loss). Changes in the fair value of these equity securities are included in principal transactions. These amounts are reflected in equity risk in the tables below. Revenue for debt securities, with the exception of interest, is typically included in principal transactions. Unlike commissions for equity securities, the initial revenue related to broker-dealer services for debt securities is included in the pricing of the instrument rather than charged through separate fee agreements. Therefore, this revenue is recorded in principal transactions as part of the initial mark to fair value. In transactions where Merrill Lynch acts as an agent, fees are earned and recorded in commissions. In the tables below, most government debt securities are reflected in interest rate risk. All other government debt securities (including, for example, municipal bonds and emerging markets government debt) and corporate debt securities are included in credit risk.
For derivatives, revenue is typically included in principal transactions. Similar to debt securities, the initial revenue related to dealer services is included in the initial pricing of the instrument rather than charged through separate fee agreements. Therefore, this revenue is recorded in principal transactions as part of the initial mark to fair value. In transactions where Merrill Lynch acts as agent, which includes exchange traded futures and options, fees are earned and recorded in commissions. Derivatives are included in the tables below based on their predominant risk (e.g., credit default swaps are included in credit risk).
Certain instruments, primarily available-for-sale securities and loans, are not considered trading assets or liabilities. Gains/losses on sales and changes in fair value of these instruments, where applicable (e.g., the fair value option has been elected), are recorded in other revenues. These instruments are typically reflected in credit risk.
Interest revenue for debt securities and loans is included in net interest expense.
The following tables identify the amounts in the income statement line items attributable to trading and non-trading activities, including both derivatives and non-derivative cash instruments categorized by primary risk for the years ended December 31, 2012, December 31, 2011 and December 31, 2010.
Non-trading related amounts include activities in connection with principal investment, wealth management, and certain lending activities; economic hedging activity discussed in the Non-trading derivatives section above; and the impact of changes in Merrill Lynch's own creditworthiness on borrowings accounted for at fair value.
For The Year Ended December 31, 2012
For The Year Ended December 31, 2011
For The Year Ended December 31, 2010
Credit derivatives derive value based on an underlying third party referenced obligation or a portfolio of referenced obligations. Merrill Lynch is both a seller and a buyer of credit protection. A seller of credit protection is required to make payments to a buyer upon the occurrence of a predefined credit event. Such credit events generally include bankruptcy of the referenced credit entity and failure to pay under their credit obligations, as well as acceleration of indebtedness and payment repudiation or moratorium. For credit derivatives based on a portfolio of referenced credits or credit indices, Merrill Lynch as a seller of credit protection may not be required to make payment until a specified amount of loss has occurred and/or may only be required to make payment up to a specified amount.
Credit derivatives where Merrill Lynch is the seller of credit protection are summarized below:
For most credit derivatives, the notional value represents the maximum amount payable by Merrill Lynch as a seller of credit protection. However, Merrill Lynch does not exclusively monitor its exposure to credit derivatives based on notional value. Instead, a risk framework is used to define risk tolerances and establish limits to help to ensure that certain credit risk-related losses occur within acceptable, predefined limits. Merrill Lynch discloses internal categorizations (i.e., investment grade, non-investment grade) consistent with how risk is managed to evaluate the payment status of its freestanding credit derivative instruments.
Merrill Lynch economically hedges its exposure to credit derivatives by entering into a variety of offsetting derivative contracts and security positions. For example, in certain instances, Merrill Lynch purchases credit protection with identical underlying referenced names to offset its exposure. At December 31, 2012 and December 31, 2011, the notional value and carrying value of credit protection purchased and credit protection sold by Merrill Lynch with identical underlying referenced names was:
Credit related notes
Credit related notes include investments in securities issued by CDO, CLO and credit linked note vehicles. These instruments are classified as trading securities. Most of the entities that issue these instruments have either the ability to enter into, or have entered into, credit derivatives.
The carrying value of these instruments equals Merrill Lynch's maximum exposure to loss. Merrill Lynch is not obligated to make any payments to the entities under the terms of the securities owned. Merrill Lynch discloses internal categorizations (i.e., investment grade, non-investment grade) consistent with how risk is managed for these instruments.
Credit risk management of derivatives
Merrill Lynch defines counterparty credit risk as the potential for loss that can occur as a result of an individual, counterparty, or issuer being unable to honor its contractual obligations. Merrill Lynch mitigates its credit risk to counterparties through a variety of techniques, including, where appropriate, the right to require initial collateral or margin, the right to terminate transactions or to obtain collateral should unfavorable events occur, the right to call for collateral when certain exposure thresholds are exceeded, the right to call for third party guarantees, and the purchase of credit default protection.
Merrill Lynch enters into International Swaps and Derivatives Association, Inc. (“ISDA”) master agreements or their equivalent (“master netting agreements”) with almost all derivative counterparties. Master netting agreements provide protection in bankruptcy in certain circumstances and, where legally enforceable, enable receivables and payables with the same counterparty to be offset for accounting and risk management purposes. Netting agreements are generally negotiated bilaterally and can require complex terms. While Merrill Lynch makes reasonable efforts to execute such agreements, it is possible that a counterparty may be unwilling to sign such an agreement and, as a result, would subject Merrill Lynch to additional credit risk.
Where Merrill Lynch has entered into legally enforceable netting agreements with counterparties, it reports derivative assets and liabilities, and any related cash collateral, net in the Consolidated Balance Sheets in accordance with ASC 210-20, Balance Sheet-Offsetting. At December 31, 2012 and December 31, 2011, cash collateral received of $28.0 billion and $26.5 billion, respectively, and cash collateral paid of $32.1 billion and $33.0 billion, respectively, was netted against derivative assets and liabilities. The enforceability of master netting agreements under bankruptcy laws in certain countries or in certain industries is not free from doubt, and receivables and payables with counterparties in these countries or industries are accordingly reported on a gross basis.
Monoline derivative credit exposure at December 31, 2012 had a notional value of $12.1 billion compared with $15.8 billion at December 31, 2011. The fair value of the monoline derivative credit exposure was $0.9 billion at December 31, 2012 compared with $1.7 billion at December 31, 2011. At December 31, 2012, the CVA related to monoline derivative trading instruments exposure was $117 million compared with $382 million at December 31, 2011, which reduced Merrill Lynch's net fair value exposure to $0.8 billion at December 31, 2012. Monoline related activity for the year ended December 31, 2012 resulted in gains of $202 million, which consisted of CVA and exposure changes. In addition, at both December 31, 2012 and December 31, 2011, $1.3 billion of net monoline exposure with a single counterparty is included in Other assets. The contracts are no longer considered to be derivative trading instruments because of the inherent default risk and they no longer provide a hedge benefit.
Bank of America has guaranteed the performance of Merrill Lynch on certain derivative transactions. The aggregate amount of such derivative liabilities was approximately $1.3 billion at December 31, 2012.
Credit-risk related contingent features
Most of Merrill Lynch's derivative contracts contain credit risk related contingent features, primarily in the form of ISDA master netting agreements and credit support documentation that enhance the creditworthiness of these instruments compared to other obligations of the respective counterparty with whom Merrill Lynch has transacted. These contingent features may be for the benefit of Merrill Lynch as well as its counterparties with respect to changes in Merrill Lynch's creditworthiness and the exposure under the derivative transactions. At December 31, 2012 and December 31, 2011, Merrill Lynch held cash and securities collateral of $38.2 billion and $40.9 billion and posted cash and securities collateral of $38.3 billion and $45.2 billion in the normal course of business under derivative agreements.
In connection with certain OTC derivative contracts and other trading agreements, Merrill Lynch can be required to provide additional collateral or to terminate transactions with certain counterparties in the event of a downgrade of the senior debt ratings of ML & Co. or certain subsidiaries. The amount of additional collateral required depends on the contract and is usually a fixed incremental amount and/or market value of the exposure.
At December 31, 2012, the amount of collateral, calculated based on the terms of the contracts that Merrill Lynch could be required to post to counterparties but had not yet posted to counterparties was approximately $1.5 billion.
Some counterparties are currently able to unilaterally terminate certain contracts, or Merrill Lynch may be required to take other action such as find a suitable replacement or obtain a guarantee. At December 31, 2012, the current liability for these derivative contracts was $0.8 billion, against which Merrill Lynch has posted $0.7 billion of collateral.
At December 31, 2012, if the rating agencies had downgraded their long-term senior debt ratings for ML & Co. or certain subsidiaries by one incremental notch, the amount of additional collateral contractually required by such derivative contracts and other trading agreements would have been approximately $0.4 billion. If the rating agencies had downgraded their long-term senior debt ratings for ML & Co. or certain subsidiaries by a second incremental notch, approximately $4.0 billion in additional incremental collateral would have been required.
Also, if the rating agencies had downgraded their long-term senior debt ratings for ML & Co. or certain subsidiaries by one incremental notch, the derivative liability that would be subject to unilateral termination by counterparties as of December 31, 2012 was $1.9 billion, against which $1.2 billion of collateral has been posted. Further, if the rating agencies had downgraded their long-term debt ratings for ML & Co. or certain subsidiaries by a second incremental notch, the derivative liability that would be subject to unilateral termination by counterparties as of December 31, 2012 was an incremental $1.3 billion, against which $0.7 billion of collateral has been posted.
Valuation Adjustments on Derivatives
Merrill Lynch records credit risk valuation adjustments on derivatives in order to properly reflect the credit quality of the counterparties and its own credit quality on the value of the derivatives. Merrill Lynch calculates valuation adjustments on derivatives based on a modeled expected exposure that incorporates current market risk factors. The exposure also takes into consideration credit mitigants such as legally enforceable master netting arrangements and collateral. CDS spread data is used to estimate the default probabilities and severities that are applied to the exposures. Where no observable credit default data is available for counterparties, Merrill Lynch uses proxies and other market data to estimate default probabilities and severity.
Valuation adjustments on derivatives are affected by changes in market spreads, non-credit related market factors such as interest rate and currency changes that affect the expected exposure, and other factors such as changes in collateral arrangements and partial payments. Credit spread changes and non-credit factors can move independently; for example, for an interest rate swap, changes in interest rates may increase the expected exposure, which would increase the counterparty CVA. Independently, counterparty credit spreads may tighten, which would result in an offsetting decrease to CVA.
Merrill Lynch may enter into risk management activities to offset market driven exposures. Merrill Lynch often hedges the counterparty spread risk in CVA with CDS and often hedges the other market risks in both CVA and DVA primarily with currency and interest rate swaps. Since the components of the valuation adjustments on derivatives move independently and Merrill Lynch may not hedge all of the market driven exposures, the effect of a hedge may increase the gross valuation adjustments on derivatives or may result in a gross positive valuation adjustment on derivatives becoming a negative adjustment (or the reverse).
During the three months ended September 30, 2012, Merrill Lynch refined its methodology for calculating valuation adjustments on derivatives on a prospective basis. Merrill Lynch no longer considers the probability of default for both the counterparty and Merrill Lynch when calculating the counterparty CVA and DVA and now only considers the probability of the counterparty defaulting for CVA and Merrill Lynch defaulting for DVA.
The table below presents CVA gains (losses) and DVA gains (losses) for Merrill Lynch on a gross and net of hedges basis, which are recorded in principal transactions revenues.
The entire disclosure for the entity's entire derivative instruments and hedging activities. Describes an entity's risk management strategies, derivatives in hedging activities and non-hedging derivative instruments, the assets, obligations, liabilities, revenues and expenses arising therefrom, and the amounts of and methodologies and assumptions used in determining the amounts of such items.
Reference 1: http://www.xbrl.org/2003/role/presentationRef