Thursday, July 12, 2007
Margin debt at the NYSE increased by 11% in May to $353 billion (up from $318 billion in April), according to a NYSE report. Under a pilot program with eight brokerage firms begun in April, brokers can determine a customer's margin based on the overall portfolio instead of each specific investment, allowing customers to borrow more. According to a spokesperson for one firm participating in the program, this type of financing is just for sophisticated, options traders "at this point." See WSJ, 'Margin Debt' Hits Record $353 Billion on NYSE.