This excerpt taken from the NDAQ 8-K filed Feb 20, 2008.
The combined company will be exposed to clearing risk.
OMX clears a range of equity-related and fixed-income-related derivative products. OMX assumes the counterparty risk for all transactions that are cleared through its markets and guarantees that its cleared contracts will be honored. As protection against the risks that are associated with its derivatives clearing business, OMX enforces minimum financial and operational criteria for membership eligibility, requires members and investors to provide collateral, and maintains established risk policies and procedures to ensure that the counterparty risks are properly monitored and pro-actively managed, but none of these measures provides absolute assurance against defaults by OMXs counterparties on their obligations. Moreover, while collateralizing member and investor risk exposures is designed to ensure that sufficient collateral is maintained to compensate for the default risk incurred, no guarantee can be given that the collateral provided will at all times be sufficient. Although OMX maintains, and the combined company will maintain, clearing capital resources to serve as an additional layer of protection to help ensure that the combined company is able to meet its obligations, these resources may not be sufficient. Indebtedness to be incurred by the combined company in connection with the Transactions could limit the combined companys flexibility in operation of its clearing business.