Archives: Derivatives

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CFTC Announces Organizational Changes to Agency Divisions

On November 2, 2020, the U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) issued a press release announcing organizational changes to several areas of the agency’s operating divisions. According to CFTC Chairman Heath P. Tarbert, these changes are intended to better align the agency’s structure with its strategic objectives.… Continue Reading

English Court of Appeal Upholds Merrill Lynch’s Reliance on ISDA Standard Terms

On Friday 14 August, the Court of Appeal handed down judgment in the FX dispute CFH Clearing Limited v Merrill Lynch International [2020] EWCA Civ 1064.  This appellate success was a comprehensive victory for the clear wording of standard ISDA documentation over creative legal arguments. Despite, or even because of, the one-sided result, the judgment … Continue Reading

CFTC’s Civil Monetary Penalty Guidance: A Perspective from a Former CFTC Regulator

On May 20th the U.S. Commodities Futures Trading Commission (the “CFTC”) Division of Enforcement (the “Division”) announced new guidance for Division staff to consider when recommending civil monetary penalties in an enforcement action (the “CMP Guidance” or the “Guidance”).  As a former CFTC regulator who brought dozens of cases over a 13 year career in … Continue Reading

CFTC Extends Certain Comment Periods for Pending Proposed Rules in Response to Covid-19

On April 10, 2020 the Commodity Futures Trading Commission ( the “CFTC” or the “Commission”) extended certain currently-open comment periods for several pending proposed rules in light of the COVID-19 pandemic.  The Commission completed voting to adopt the relatively short extensions on Thursday, April 9.  The measure passed by a final tally of 3-2, with … Continue Reading

IOSCO Issues Report on Risks Relating to Crypto-Asset Trading Platforms

On February 12, 2020, the Board of the International Organization of Securities Commissions (“IOSCO”) released a report titled Issues, Risks and Regulatory Considerations Relating to Crypto-Asset Trading Platforms.  The report describes the risks associated with crypto-asset trading platforms (“CTPs”) and sets forth key considerations for regulators in addressing such risks.  IOSCO is an association of … Continue Reading

CFTC Announces 2019 Examination Priorities for the First Time

On February 12, 2019, for the first time in its history, the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (“CFTC”) announced the release of 2019 examination priorities for each of its regulatory Divisions.  CFTC Chairman J. Christopher Giancarlo stated that “[t]his first-ever publication of division examination priorities is in line with Project KISS and other agency initiatives to … Continue Reading

The Latest Brexit Chaos: What Does it Mean for Derivatives Markets?

The past few weeks have been chaotic for both Brexit negotiations and U.K. politics overall. On January 15, 2019, British Prime Minister Theresa May’s Brexit plan succumbed to historic defeat in Parliament. Brexit watchers expected a defeat but the record margin of 432 votes against, and 202 votes for, was still shocking. On January 16, … Continue Reading

CFTC Issues Primer on Smart Contracts

The CFTC’s LabCFTC recently released “A Primer on Smart Contracts” as part of LabCFTC’s initiative to engage with stakeholders on FinTech topics. The primer explains smart contracts, and explores their potential benefits — with a particular focus on the financial sector — and challenges. The CFTC has an interest in smart contracts because, as the … Continue Reading

The Long Wait Is Not Over, but the SEC Advances its Security-Based Swap Dealer Rules and Reopens the Comment Period for Capital and Margin Requirements for Security-Based Swap Dealers

For several years Swap Dealers registered with the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (“CFTC”) have been awaiting action by the Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”) related to security-based swap dealers.  While the wait is by no means over, on October 11, 2018 the SEC voted 4 to 1 to reopen the comment period for proposed rules … Continue Reading

Chairman of the CFTC Releases White Paper on Cross-Border Swaps Reform

On October 1, 2018, Chairman Giancarlo of the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (“CFTC” or “Commission”) released a white paper titled “Cross-Border Swaps Regulation Version 2.0: A Risk-Based Approach with Deference to Comparable Non-U.S. Regulation.” The Chairman previewed both his views on cross-border swaps reform and the paper in speeches delivered in London, Tokyo and Singapore … Continue Reading

Past is Prologue: A New Approach to Cross-Border Application of Dodd-Frank Swaps Provisions

On September 4, 2018, in a speech at the City Guildhall in London, Chairman Giancarlo previewed a new approach to cross-border application of Dodd-Frank swaps provisions, which will be memorialized in a forthcoming white paper. Chairman Giancarlo began his remarks with a historical overview of cross-border swaps regulation, highlighting post Dodd-Frank reforms. He then summarized … Continue Reading

With New CFTC Commissioners Onboard, Major CFTC Rulemakings Likely to Follow this Fall

On August 29, 2018, the U.S. Senate confirmed Dawn Stump and Dan Berkovitz as Commissioners of the Commodity Futures Trading Commissioner (“CFTC” or “Commission”). Each has extensive experience in the derivatives markets. Ms. Stump, among other things, has served as Executive Director and Senior Vice President of U.S. Policy for the Futures Industry Association. Mr. … Continue Reading

CFTC Amends Requirements for Chief Compliance Officers

On August 21, 2018, the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (“CFTC”) adopted rule amendments that modify the requirements for Chief Compliance Officers (“CCO”) of swap dealers (“SD”), major swap participants (“MSP”) and futures commission merchants (“FCM”).  SDs and FCMs should review these rules in detail in order to assess the changes they will have to make … Continue Reading

Is the heat on in the syndicated loans market? Spanish Competition Authority fines banks for price fixing on interest rate derivatives

On 13 February 2018, the Spanish Markets and Competition Commission (“CNMC”) fined four major Spanish banks €91 million for colluding to fix the price of interest-rate derivatives (“IRDs”) attached to syndicated loans above market price.  The decision is an additional indication that syndicated loans are increasingly coming under the scrutiny of competition authorities, after the … Continue Reading
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