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CFTC News Roundup for October and November and a Look Ahead

There has been a flurry of activity at the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (“CFTC”) in recent weeks.  As we reported previously, the CFTC approved three final rules, including the much-anticipated position limits rule, at its October 15 open meeting, and announced significant organizational changes to its operating divisions on November 3.  This post highlights additional … Continue Reading

Recent Developments on the German Ringfencing Regulation

I. The German Ringfencing Act As a reaction to the financial crisis in 2007/2008 and to address risks in connection with the “too big to fail” phenomena, the German legislature issued the Ringfencing Act in 2014 (the “Act”). In a nutshell, the Act forbids big CRR-credit institutions (depending on certain balance sheet thresholds) to engage … Continue Reading

CFTC To Consider Proposals for Refining Uncleared Margin Rules

During an open meeting on July 22, 2020, the CFTC Commissioners heard a staff presentation on three specific recommendations for changes to the margin requirements for uncleared swaps for swap dealers and major swap participants.  These changes would: Align the timing and methodology for both the material swaps exposure calculations and the post phase‐in compliance … Continue Reading

CFTC Adopts Final Rules on Capital Requirements and Cross-Border Application of the Registration Thresholds for Swap Dealers and Major Swap Participants

At open meetings on Wednesday, July 22, and Thursday, July 23, the CFTC approved, by a 3-2 vote, two significant final rules implementing provisions in the Dodd-Frank Act.  The first rule imposes capital requirements on swap dealers (“SDs”) and major swap participants (“MSPs”) that are not subject to supervision by a banking regulator, as well … Continue Reading

A New Vision for Europe’s Capital Markets

 – Final Report of the High Level Forum on the Capital Markets Union – I. Capital Markets Union The Capital Markets Union seeks to remove regulatory and non-regulatory obstacles to the free movement of capital across borders, thus creating new opportunities across the Single Market for businesses, savers and investors and increasing the financial and … 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

European Union Takes Step Toward Cohesive Global Regulatory Framework for Central Counterparties

On June 11, the European Commission (the “EC”) opened for feedback a trio of draft delegated acts that, if adopted, would constitute a major step toward cohesive global regulation of international securities and derivatives markets.  Specifically, the delegated acts (see here, here, and here) would allow certain central counterparties in non-EU Member States (“third-country CCPs”) … Continue Reading

Federal Reserve Bank of New York Releases Updated Documentation and Guidance on TALF

On June 8, 2020, the Federal Reserve Bank of New York (“FRBNY”) published revised FAQs and three updated transaction documents for the Term Asset-Backed Securities Loan Facility (“TALF”).  The three documents are the (i) Form of Issuer and Sponsor Certification as to TALF Eligibility for ABS, the Form of Indemnity Undertaking for ABS; (ii) the … Continue Reading

Federal Reserve Changes Terms of Main Street Lending Program to Expand Borrower Eligibility

On June 8, 2020, the Federal Reserve Board (“Board”) announced changes to its Main Street Lending Program (“MSLP”) intended to allow more small and medium-sized businesses to participate in the MSLP.  The Board also published updated term sheets for each of the MSLP facilities reflecting these changes; to illustrate how these changes affect the term … Continue Reading

Federal Reserve Publishes Additional Detail on TALF

On Wednesday, May 20, 2020, the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (the “Board”) announced further details on the Term Asset-Backed Securities Loan Facility (“TALF”).  The Board’s announcement contains key documents and forms, including the Master Loan and Security Agreement; updated FAQs and a blackline reflecting changes made against the version published on … Continue Reading

The PPP Economic Necessity Certification: SBA Provides Additional Guidance

On May 13, 2020, the Small Business Administration (“SBA”) released two FAQs, numbers 46 and 47, regarding two safe harbors from an SBA inquiry into a borrower’s statutorily required certification of economic necessity for a loan under the Paycheck Protection Program  (“PPP”).  FAQ 46 states that the SBA will deem any borrower that, together with … Continue Reading

Federal Reserve Announces Further Details on TALF

On Tuesday, May 12, 2020, the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (the “Board”) announced additional details regarding the Term Asset-Backed Securities Loan Facility (“TALF”).  The TALF is a financial crisis-era liquidity facility designed to help meet the credit needs of consumers and businesses by facilitating the issuance of asset-backed securities (“ABS”).… Continue Reading

SEC Orders Equity Exchanges and FINRA to Submit New Single National Market System Plan for Equity Market Data

On May 6, the Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”) issued an order (“Order”) directing the registered equity exchanges and the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (“FINRA”) (together, the “Self-Regulatory Organizations” or “SROs”) to submit to the SEC a new National Market System (“NMS”) plan to govern the public dissemination of real-time, consolidated market data for NMS … Continue Reading

Federal Reserve Announces Main Street Lending Program and Other Facilities to Provide Credit to Businesses, States, and Municipalities Impacted by COVID-19

Yesterday, the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System announced the creation of four new liquidity facilities and the expansion of three previously announced liquidity facilities to provide credit to borrowers impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. Whereas the previously announced programs primarily targeted certain financial markets and their participants (such as the markets for … Continue Reading

Federal Reserve Establishes Temporary FIMA Repo Facility

Yesterday, March 31, 2020, the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (the “Board”) announced the creation of a temporary repurchase agreement facility for foreign and international monetary authorities (the “FIMA Repo Facility” or the “Facility”) to facilitate liquidity for central banks and other international monetary authorities.  The FIMA Repo Facility is the latest … Continue Reading

GOP Stimulus Bill Includes Banking and Financial Markets Relief

Yesterday, on Sunday, March 22, 2020, U.S. Senate Republicans released the latest version of their COVID-19-related stimulus bill, the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act or CARES Act.  The bill contains several measures intended to provide relief to banks, their customers, and broader financial markets. The latest version of the CARES Act includes the … Continue Reading

Federal Reserve to Accept U.S. Municipal Short-Term Debt as Eligible Collateral Under Expanded MMLF Program

Today, March 20, 2020, the Federal Reserve announced that it has amended the terms of its recently announced Money Market Mutual Fund Liquidity Facility (“MMLF”) so as to accept certain U.S. municipal short-term debt as eligible collateral and allow additional types of funds to sell eligible collateral to participating borrowers.  The expansion is intended to … Continue Reading

FDIC Chairman Asks FASB to Respond to COVID-19 Crisis, Including by Delaying CECL

Today, March 19, 2020, FDIC Chairman Jelena McWilliams sent a letter to the Financial Accounting Standard Board (“FASB”), the body that is responsible for establishing U.S. generally accepted accounting practices (“U.S. GAAP”).  The Chairman’s letter requests that FASB take three specific actions to ease the impact of certain U.S. GAAP standards in light of the … Continue Reading

Federal Reserve Establishes Money Market Mutual Fund Facility to Support Liquidity of Key Financial Assets

Yesterday, on March 18, 2020, the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (“Board”) announced the creation of a Money Market Mutual Fund Liquidity Facility (“MMLF”) to provide liquidity support to money market mutual funds (“MMMFs”) by facilitating their sale of certain assets in order to meet redemption requests.  Under the MMLF, the Federal … Continue Reading

CFTC Announces Limited No-Action Relief in Response to COVID-19 Pandemic

This week, on March 17, 2020, the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) released two announcements (see here and here) regarding a series of no-action letters in response to the ongoing global COVID-19 pandemic.  The CFTC’s announcements come in the wake of high-profile efforts by other financial regulators to quickly address the financial and regulatory effects … Continue Reading

Federal Reserve Reestablishes Primary Dealer Credit Facility to Support Market Functioning and Facilitate Credit Availability

Yesterday, on March 17, 2020, the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (“FRB”) announced the creation of a Primary Dealer Credit Facility (“PDCF”) to provide a liquidity backstop to primary dealers of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York (“FRBNY”), which include the nation’s largest broker-dealers.  The PDCF will provide short-term loans to … Continue Reading

Federal Reserve Establishes Commercial Paper Funding Facility to Support Flow of Credit to Households and Businesses

Today, on March 17, 2020, the Federal Reserve provided a backstop of commercial paper (“CP”) in the form of a Commercial Paper Funding Facility (“CPFF”) that establishes a special purpose vehicle (“SPV”) to acquire eligible CP directly from eligible issuers.  The CPFF will provide liquidity to CP issuers that may otherwise face issues rolling over … Continue Reading

Federal Reserve Takes Extraordinary Actions Supporting Financial Markets to Mitigate COVID-19 Impact

Yesterday, on Sunday, March 15, 2020, in response to the COVID-19 pandemic’s impact on U.S. and global economic activity, the Federal Reserve’s Federal Open Market Committee (“FOMC”) cut the target range of the federal funds rate to 0 to 1/4 percent until such time as the FOMC is “confident that the economy has weathered recent … Continue Reading
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