Credit default swaps will begin clearing on the IntercontinentalExchange ( ICE) Monday, but the key players in the murky derivatives market are still firmly in control as it begins to move out of the shadows. Credit default swaps, or CDS, are insurance against default of debt, which can be bought, sold and traded by anyone. They are currently traded in unregulated, over-the-counter markets, but their role in the economic meltdown has led to a push on Capitol Hill and elsewhere for more regulation. IntercontinentalExchange, the Atlanta-based futures exchange, stepped in to begin to fill the void. IntercontinentalExchange in October became the first regulated exchange to gain Securities and Exchange Commission approval to begin clearing CDS, beating out rivals like Chicago's CME Group ( CME). To bolster its bid to win the lucrative business, IntercontinentalExchange purchased The Clearing Corp., which was owned by 11 financial institutions that are among the heaviest CDS players. Thus, the same players that issued the CDS and controlled the market are still very much involved in making up the rules of the game. The CME Group ( CME) had already created an index of CDS that proved to be unpopular to the gang of 11. CME spokesman Allen Schoenberg couldn't explain why it was unsuccessful, but he did confirm that they were waiting to hear from the SEC. NYSE Euronext's ( NYX) NYSE Liffe international derivatives business is clearing CDS in Eurpoe. Where is the Federal Reserve in all this? Deputy Director Patrick Parkinson wrote in November that market manipulation concerns over CDS could be addressed by "clarifying the SEC's authority with respect to CDS."