Tag Archives: CFTC

CFTC Warns of Fraudsters Capitalizing on Investors’ COVID-19 Concerns and Promises Aggressive Enforcement Action

On March 18, the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (“CFTC”) issued a Customer Advisory cautioning the public to be on alert for increased fraudulent activity amidst the COVID-19 pandemic. The agency’s alert followed a series of similar warnings published by other agencies. The CFTC advised that fraudsters may be attempting to profit by taking advantage of … 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

Proposal Would Simplify Volcker Rule’s “Covered Funds” Provisions

On January 30, 2020, five federal financial regulators jointly issued a proposed rule that would modify existing regulations implementing the Volcker Rule’s general prohibition on banking entities investing in, sponsoring, or having certain relationships with hedge funds or private equity funds (collectively, “covered funds”).  The proposal, which follows a 2019 final rule revising the Volcker … Continue Reading

Leaders of the SEC, CFTC, and FinCEN Issue Joint Statement Emphasizing AML Obligations for Digital Asset Activities

On Friday, the leaders of the Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”), Commodity Futures Trading Commission (“CFTC”), and Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (“FinCEN”) (collectively, the “Agencies”) issued a “Joint Statement on Activities Involving Digital Assets” (the “Joint Statement”).  The Joint Statement serves as a reminder that businesses engaged in activities involving digital assets – or, as … Continue Reading

Spoofing Enforcement Heats Up with Recent Filing Wave and New Legal Charges

The U.S. Government’s fiscal year-end filing rush has resulted in a wave of new spoofing enforcement.  In August, the Fraud Section of the Department of Justice’s (“DOJ”) Criminal Division charged four individuals with spoofing in precious metals futures markets.  In September, the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (“CFTC”) brought overlapping charges against three of those individuals, … Continue Reading

CFTC Becomes Third Federal Financial Regulator to Approve Volcker Rule Reforms

On Monday, September 16, the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (the “CFTC” or the “Commission”) announced that it has approved final regulations (the “final rule”) that will streamline and clarify the Volcker Rule – a statutory provision that generally prohibits banking entities from engaging in proprietary trading, or from taking an ownership interest in, sponsoring, or … Continue Reading

CFTC Settles Wheat Manipulation Case against Kraft and Mondelēz

On August 14, 2019, the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois entered a consent order (the “Consent Order”)—agreed to by the U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission (the “CFTC”), Kraft Foods Group Inc. (“Kraft”) and Mondelēz Global LLC (“Mondelēz”)—to resolve long-running market manipulation litigation between the parties.… 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

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

CFTC and Monetary Authority of Singapore Sign Cooperation Agreement on FinTech Innovation

Late last week, the Commodities Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) and the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) announced a cooperation agreement on FinTech innovation.  The agreement is principally focused on information sharing on FinTech trends and developments and on each regulator’s FinTech sandboxes. The agreement could also, however, help FinTech companies move more easily between the … 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

Regulators Propose Revisions to the Volcker Rule

On May 30, 2018, the Federal Reserve Board approved a notice of proposed rulemaking aimed at simplifying regulations implementing section 13 of the Bank Holding Company Act (12 U.S.C. 1851), also known as the “Volcker Rule” (or the “Rule”).  Enacted as part of the Dodd-Frank Act following the financial crisis of 2008, the Volcker Rule … Continue Reading

CFTC Issues Advisory Regarding Virtual Currency Derivatives

Earlier this week, the CFTC published a staff advisory regarding virtual currency derivative product listings. The guidance sets forth five areas of focus for exchanges and clearinghouses in listing a new virtual currency derivatives contract pursuant to Commission Regulation 40.2 or 40.3, including: (1) enhanced market surveillance, (2) coordination with CFTC staff, (3) large trader … Continue Reading

CFTC Further Delays Swap Dealer De Minimis Threshold Drop

On October 26, 2017, the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (“CFTC”) issued an order postponing the automatic lowering of the swap dealer de minimis threshold. Instead of dropping from $8 billion in notional value (measured over the prior 12-month period) to $3 billion on December 31, 2018, which would have required firms to begin tracking swap … Continue Reading

CFTC Enforcement and Regulatory Report: 2017 Activity and Outlook

The U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission (the “CFTC” or the “Commission”) has been very active since the beginning of this year, despite the change in Presidential Administration, the lack (until recently) of appointed Commissioners, and the turnover of leadership at both the Commission and Division level.  Notably, the Commission has announced over 20 enforcement actions, … Continue Reading

As New Commissioners Come Onboard, CFTC Can Begin Moving Forward

For nearly six months following former Chairman Timothy G. Massad’s resignation from the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (“CFTC”), the CFTC operated with only two commissioners, current Chairman J. Christopher Giancarlo and Commissioner Sharon Y. Bowen. Even with only two commissioners, the CFTC was able to undertake several regulatory initiatives, including Project KISS, an effort towards … Continue Reading

OCC Issues Request for Information on the Volcker Rule

This morning, the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (“OCC”) released a Request for Information (“RFI”) to determine how regulations implementing the Volcker Rule should be revised to better accomplish the purposes of the statute. The OCC’s release notes that the information the agency is soliciting could support revisions to the regulation that are consistent … Continue Reading

CFTC Approves Registration of Bitcoin Platform LedgerX

On July 6, 2017, the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (“CFTC”) announced that it had granted LedgerX registration as a swap execution facility (“SEF”).  LedgerX is a platform that will trade and clear options on bitcoin. LedgerX has also applied to become a derivatives clearing organization.  If approved, LedgerX “would be the first federally regulated bitcoin … Continue Reading
LexBlog