The credit crisis and the advent of distributed ledger technology have focused the mind on the future of clearing, but this future is best understood by looking first at the past. How did the current clearing arrangement come to pass? What problems were the designers of the current system trying to solve?
Once the existing system is fully contextualized, it is easier to look forward. Distributed ledger technology is going to have a profound effect on clearing and settlement in the future, but taken too far, it might actually turn the clock backward.