New margin requirements

Matt, it looks like you recently have changed the margin requirements for futures. I wonder what the reason was behind it (the old ones were realistic) and what are the new ones exactly?

I wasn’t aware of any changes, Peter. The system does, however, automatically use the latest SPAN margin requirements (the database/algorithm used by the major exchanges). Maybe SPAN made a change in a contract?

Perhaps if you can point out a specific instance of a change, I can look into it and verify if everything is ok.


I used to be able to buy only 50 YM futures for 100K (thus margin was $2k). Now the system let me go over 75 futures. I also seen several systems buying futures way over their cash in hand. maybe the update has a bug in it?

To summarize our off-line conversation, for the benefit of this forum:

Recently (a few weeks ago?) I made margin calculations a bit more realistic by introducing day-trading margins for futures contracts. Essentially, if you exit your position before the close of trading that day, you are required to put up only 50% of SPAN initial margin. After the close of market, the requirements go up to full initial/maintenance margin. That may explain many of the cases we discussed.