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CFTC Delays Enforcement of Reporting for Cleared Swaps

The CFTC’s Division of Market Oversight this week granted no-action relief from certain requirements applicable to swap dealers and major swap participants regarding the reporting of swap transactions to swap data repositories. The no-action relief, issues June 30, 2014, extends previous no-action relief regarding the reporting of valuation data reporting of cleared swaps.




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CFTC Announces First Whistleblower Award

The CFTC announced last week its first award under the whistleblower award program initiated pursuant to the Dodd-Frank Act. Under the program, eligible whistleblowers are entitled to a financial award where original information provided leads to a successful…























European-Commission

Diminished Transaction Tax Plan Closer to Reality

After a meeting this morning, it seems the transaction tax plan, which failed to gain widespread acceptance at first, has received backing from 11 euro zone countries– though this acceptance could perhaps be seen as begrudging in some cases.

















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Senate Planning to Elect Timothy Massad as CFTC Chairman

Interestingly, with Bart Chilton leaving the CFTC soon, this will mark the first time the CFTC, originally created to monitor commodity trading and hedging within the agricultural industry, will be without a chairman or commissioner with a background in agriculture.





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EU Agrees on Market Rule Overhaul

the European Union has successfully come to an agreement on a market rule overhaul that will tighten measures to regulate the derivatives market, slowing down high frequency trading and curbing speculation in commodity derivatives.









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Wetjen to be Temporary CFTC Chairman

As the year comes to an end, so will the term for current Commodity Futures Trading Commission chairman Gary Gensler, according to Bloomberg, commissioner Mark P. Wetjen will be temporarily taking his place. Though Obama…



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Volcker Rule Approved by Regulators

According to the Wall Street Journal, the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp., Federal Reserve Board, Securities and Exchange Commission, and Commodity Futures Trading Commission have all voted to approve the infamous Volcker Rule. While the vote…









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White House Announces Nominee for CFTC Chairman

According to the Financial Times, the White House plans to nominate Timothy Massad for chairman of the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC).  Massad, a US treasury official, will be taking the place of current CFTC…











Mary Jo White

SEC Chair discusses refining company disclosure reports

While White feels all of the provided information she mentioned is or has been useful to investors, she wonders if there isn’t a more efficient way to provide this information, fearing that the often lengthy reports can be difficult for investors to work through.


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Debt Ceiling to Impact Global Economy, Regardless Of Default

The government shutdown, which started over the House’s inability to come to an agreement on the Affordable Care Act, has since changed trajectory and is now a fight over how the government will pay down its debt, and under what terms will the debt ceiling be raised.












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Division of Enforcement Director to step down in October

Outside of enforcement actions, Mr. Meister enhanced collaborative relationships with the U.S. Justice department, the FBI, and many other domestic and foreign agencies. He also smoothed out the Division’s investigative and management techniques, increasing the speed in which cases were handled, and ensuring consistent enforcement actions across the board.





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CFTC Ends Five Year Investigation of Silver Market

According to CFTC.gov, the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) has closed its investigation on the silver market after five years. While the CFTC normally keeps a tight lid on its investigations, it has decided to announce…



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CFTC grants temporary registration to SwapEx, LLC, GFI Swaps Exchange LLC, and MarketAxess SEF Corporation

The U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) has approved the applications of SwapEx LLC, GFI Swaps Exchange LLC, and MarketAxess SEF Corporation for temporary registration as swap execution facilities (SEFs) pursuant to section 5h of the Commodity Exchange Act and section 37.3(c) of the Commission’s regulations.



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CFTC Publishes Concept Release on Risk Controls and System Safeguards for Automated Trading in the Federal Register

The U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission today published a Concept Release on Risk Controls and System Safeguards for Automated Trading Environments in the Federal Register. The Release is intended to serve as an overview of potential measures that may be able reduce the likelihood and mitigate the impact of market disrupting events.









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Simulated Wall Street Cybersecurity Attack to Test Preparedness

Since the last cybersecurity simulation in 2011, the list of firms and institutions wishing to be included in this years attack has more than doubled, according to the SIFMA brief released today. The organizations undergoing the attack has grown to include stock exchanges, businesses, the U.S. Treasury and Department of Homeland Security, and the simulation will attempt to expose any critical weaknesses in security these firms may have.



CFTC appoints Christopher Ehrman as new Director of Whistleblower Office

Christopher Ehrman made Director of Whistleblower Office at CFTC

Christopher Ehrman was most recently an Assistant Director at the Office of Market Intelligence at the Securities and Exchange Commission, and brings with him extensive regulatory experience. As Gary Gensler said, in a CFTC press release that came out today, “Chris, who comes to us after many years of experience in the SEC’s Enforcement Division, takes on an important role at the Commission to oversee our Whistleblower program and engage with people who report misconduct in the futures and swaps markets.”



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CFTC and European Commission Reach Concordance on Derivatives

The European Commission and the CFTC have many advantages of developing cross-border regulations together. In light of this demonstration of international cooperation, some have hopes that the G20 promise to promote transparency in over-the-counter derivatives trading will become more of a focal point in regulation.




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Basel Committee Reform Capital Rules of Derivatives Trading

The first paper improves upon the interim credit assessment suggestions that the Basel Committee made with the Current Exposure Method (CEM) and the Standardised Method. The new credit risk assessment of counterparties in derivative trading fine-tune upon the CEM and the Standardised Method by creating separate risk exposure plans for margined and unmargined trades.


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CFTC Brings Charges Against Corzine For MF Global Collapse

Corzine originally joined MF Global with intent to turn the futures broker into an investment bank, and according to the CFTC release, “Corzine’s strategy called for making increasingly risky and larger investments of the firm’s money.” Apparently, Corzine had been made aware of the low cash balance of the firm, but still continued to order the payback of loans and obligations.



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Gensler Urges Fast Action on Cross-Border Derivatives

Gary Gensler, Chairman of the CFTC, told members of the Senate Appropriations committee that the CFTC would let the extension expire and continue reformation. He also mentioned that swap participants, including big banks, would comply with the regulations. An exemption from cross-border swap regulation is set to expire on June 12th, meaning firms participating in swaps would have to finalize compliance by that date.





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Gary Gensler’s Term May Be Over in July

The other members on the commission, such as Sommers, Chilton, O’Malia, and Wetjen are also up for re-appointments this year, and lobbyists and lawyers are waiting eagerly to see what the turnover is. According to the bylaws of the Commission, each commissioner is supposed to serve a five year term, as appointed by the president. Furthermore, no more than three members may be of the same political party at the same time.


EuropeanComission

Evaluation By EU of U.S. Credit Swap Rules Delayed

Until the robustness of US credit swap policy has been reviewed, some European banks have been given more restricted access to clearing houses outside of the European Union. Because of concerns that US banking policies may not be compliant with European policies, credit swap rules have become a contentious issue between US and EU regulatory bodies, according to Bloomberg.


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U.S. House Passes Bill To Loosen Federal Grip on FX Derivative Trading

The Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) was prepared to supervise all derivatives trading, including FX trading ─however the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) took a more hands-off approach by allowing overseas derivative trading to bypass U.S. regulation if the country in which they occur had a regulation system that closely resembles our own.



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ISDA Standardizes Swap Valuations with New CSA

According to the International Finance Review (IFR), the initial CSA that was published by the ISDA in 1994 had an enormous amount of optionality by allowing participants to use a “variety of collateral in differing currencies,” making the valuation of even the simplest swaps an intricate ordeal.

The new Standardized CSA aims to remove this optionality while solidifying overnight index swaps (OiS) discounting as the industry standard and creating a consistent valuation process for cleared and uncleared swaps.



Stephen O'Connor

Stephen O’Connor Leaves Morgan Stanley to Become Full-Time ISDA Chairman

With this new position, O’Connor will have hands-on involvement in driving ISDA’s strategic initiatives. The pace and scope of those initiatives continues to increase given global regulatory reform and the continued evolution of the financial markets and the OTC derivatives business. To address these needs, the decision was made to appoint a full-time chairman who could devote more time and energy to directing and leading the Association.







Barney Frank

Dodd-Frank Durbin Amendment a Failure

Barney Frank himself, famous for his stance of government regulation has said, “I believe that a free market approach in this area will be better for the economy and all concerned parties than the current system,” yet the amendment remains in effect.


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