Sunday, May 21, 2017

CFTC Chair Highlights Effect of Regulation on Liquidity

Urges Regulatory Recalibration and More Comity

Author: David Schwartz

In a May 10, 2017 address, acting Chairman of the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC)  J. Christopher Giancarlo highlighted some unintended consequences regulation is having on the swaps markets. In his speech before the International Swaps and Derivatives Association 32nd Annual Meeting in Lisbon, Portugal Giancarlo talked about the changes to swaps trading liquidity, market fragmentation and regulatory comity in the post-reform global swaps markets. After providing an overview of how some aspects of the misapplication and miscalibration of regulatory reforms were harming global liquidity, he provided some astute observations on how to alleviate some of the harm being done to swaps markets in particular. 

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Sunday, May 7, 2017

CFTC Seeks Input on Simplifying Regulations

Author: David Schwartz

In a speech before the US Chamber of Commerce’s 11th Annual Capital Market Summit, the CFTC’s acting Chairman J. Christopher Giancarlo announced a new project to simplify the agency’s regulations. Remarking that, "America’s derivatives markets are struggling, in some cases, under the weight of flawed and excessive regulation,” Chairman Giancarlo introduced the CFTC’s new focus on reinterpreting its regulatory mission consistent with the goals of the Trump Administration’s Executive Order on regulation. To achieve these goals, the CFTC will be seeking input from industry on where existing CFTC regulations can be simplified and made less costly.

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Tuesday, March 1, 2016

US and EC Agree on a Common Approach to Trans-Atlantic CCPs

Author: David Schwartz

In a joint statement issued on February 10, the European Commission (EC) and the U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) announced agreement on a common approach regarding requirements for central clearing counterparties (CCPs).  The agreement is the result of a multi-year analysis of differences between the CFTC and EU regulatory requirements. The accord commits the EC and CFTC to base regulations on international rather than parochial principles, and for both the CFTC and the European Commission Services to work together, along with counterparts across the global regulatory community, to develop further these principles and further harmonize the standards to which internationally active CCPs are held.

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Thursday, July 23, 2015

Who Will Enforce the Volcker Rule, and How?

Author: David Schwartz

On July 21, 2015, following a long five-year proposal and comment period, the collection of restrictions imposed by Section 619 of the Dodd-Frank Act and the regulations thereunder (commonly referred to as the “Volcker Rule”) finally went into effect.  The aim of the rule is to stop US banks and their global affiliates from engaging in unecessarily risky speculation and head off myriad conflicts of interest arising from proprietary trading and from investment relationships with hedge funds and private equity funds. While this may sound simple enough, even after the lengthy consideration of the rule, it is almost entirely unclear how the Volcker Rule will be enforced and by whom. Adding to the uncertaintly, because the final text of the Volcker Rule leaves so many interpretive questions remaining, it is almost impossible for banks to know if they are completely in compliance with the rule.


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Tuesday, July 30, 2013

EU and US Announce Landmark Pact on Cross-Border Derivatives

Author: David Schwartz
As the market subject to these regulations is international, it is acknowledged that, notwithstanding the high degree of similarity that already exists between the respective requirements, without coordination, subjecting the global market to the simultaneous application of each other’s requirements could lead to conflicts of law, inconsistencies, and legal uncertainty.
On July 11, 2013 European Commissioner Michel Barnier and United States Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) Chairman Gary Gensler announced a Path Forward regarding their joint understandings on a package of measures for how to approach cross-border derivatives. This new pact responds to the G20 commitment to lower risk and promote transparency in the over-the-counter (OTC) derivatives markets, but in a way that recognizes the challenges of regulating what is now understood to be a virtually borderless market. Pledging cooperation, the EU and US hope to ensure that regulations put in place "pursue the same objectives and generate the same outcomes." Much coordination between US and EU regulators has already in many places resulted "in final rules are essentially identical, even though the regulatory calendars are not always synchronized."

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