CFTC Vote On Cross-Border Swaps Set for Friday

After weeks of speculation, it looks like the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) will conclude a foreign regulatory issue this Friday, July 12th. The vote will regard how domestic regulations on swaps apply to foreign firms wishing to do business with those in the United States.

The regulations have become a devisive issue in the CFTC , with commissioners on the board giving competing advice on what exactly to do. Current CFTC Chairman Gary Gensler, Democrat, has advocated applying the domestic regulations to the foreign firms as well, but there has been some dissent. Mark Wetjen, Republican, has recommended being more cautious with a ruling on foreign firms, citing that it may hurt, rather than help, the US economy.

Conjecture that Gary Gensler’s term would be over in July prompted some to think that voting on swaps regulation would occur after his position were filled by someone else.

This issue has become important for the derivatives market, and some key players have gotten involved in the recent discussions with the regulatory giant. Speculation that foreign firms would be required to comply with CFTC standards has purportedly caused instability in the market.

The interested parties go beyond just banks, firms and regulators though. Recently, Democratic Senator Elizabeth Warren has weighed in on the issue. In an interview with the Hill on June 20th, she said that “It would be a real mistake for commissioners to think they can run out the clock and just hold tight until Gary Gensler’s term expires. I will certainly still be here and watching this process very closely” But since it appears Gary Gensler will also vote on the regulation’s application to foreign markets, her concerns were unfounded.

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