Tag Archives: CFTC

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

CFTC Acting Chairman Makes Budget Request

On June 8, 2017, Acting Chair J. Christopher Giancarlo of the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (“CFTC”) made his request for the CFTC’s budget for fiscal year 2018 (“FY 2018”) to the House Appropriations Committee Subcommittee on Agriculture, Rural Development and Related Agencies (“Subcommittee”).  Acting Chair Giancarlo is seeking an increase in the CFTC’s budget from … Continue Reading

Kokesh v. SEC and Implications for Consumer and Financial Regulatory Agencies

In its decision in Kokesh v. SEC, issued on Monday, June 5, 2017, the Supreme Court unanimously ruled that “disgorgement” of ill-gotten gains by the Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”) is a “penalty” within the meaning of 28 U.S.C. § 2462.  As a result, disgorgement is unavailable to the SEC in judicial proceedings involving conduct … Continue Reading

CFTC Adopts Amendments to Whistleblower Rule, Asserts Anti-Retaliation Authority

On May 22, 2017, the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (“CFTC”) announced the finalization of amendments to its whistleblower rules.  The most important change is the CFTC’s assertion of the authority to enforce Section 23(h)(1) of the Commodity Exchange Act (“CEA”), which prohibits retaliation against whistleblowers.  When it originally promulgated its whistleblower rules in 2011, the … Continue Reading

CFTC Launches FinTech Initiative “LabCFTC”

On May 17, 2017, the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (“CFTC”) announced the launch of its financial technology (“FinTech”) initiative, LabCFTC.  Per the agency, the initiative is designed to “promot[e] responsible FinTech innovation to improve the quality, resiliency, and competitiveness of the markets the CFTC oversees.”  According to Acting Chair J. Christopher Giancarlo, LabCFTC is “intended … Continue Reading

Financial Regulators to Reassess Volcker Rule

Federal financial agencies are taking steps to reevaluate the Volcker Rule as part of the Trump Administration’s review of financial regulations.  In a May 8, 2017 meeting of the Financial Stability Oversight Council, Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin reportedly directed the five agencies responsible for the Volcker Rule – the Board of Governors of the Federal … Continue Reading

CFTC Settles Allegations that Dairy Company Acted as FCM for Milk Suppliers

On March 27, 2017, the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (“CFTC”) announced it entered into a consent order with Davisco Foods International, Inc. (“Davisco”), a dairy company, to settle allegations that Davisco acted as a futures commission merchant (“FCM”) for its milk suppliers without registering as an FCM.  Section 4d of the Commodity Exchange Act defines … Continue Reading

Regulators Release Guidance for Compliance with Variation Margin Requirements for Non-Cleared Swaps

Today, both the Federal Reserve and the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (“OCC”) published guidance addressing the agencies’ “expectations for compliance” with minimum variation margin requirements for non-cleared swaps that become effective March 1, 2017. The guidance is relevant to any swap dealer registered with the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (“CFTC”) for which … Continue Reading

CFTC Issues No-Action Relief for Swap Dealers who Comply with EU Uncleared Swap Requirements

On February 1, 2017, the Division of Swap Dealer and Intermediary Oversight (“DSIO”) of the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (“CFTC”) issued a no-action letter granting relief from compliance with certain provisions of the CFTC’s margin requirements for uncleared swaps.  This relief applies to swap dealers entering into swaps with counterparties subject to the non-centrally cleared … Continue Reading

CFTC Commissioner Giancarlo Forecasts Swap Market Reforms

On January 18, 2017, Commodity Futures Trading Commission (“CFTC”) Commissioner J. Christopher Giancarlo delivered a keynote address at SEFCON VII in which he gave an indication of the types of reforms in the swap markets he plans to implement as Acting Chair and, if nominated and confirmed, as permanent Chair.  His comments echoed a theme … Continue Reading

Massad to Step Down as CFTC Chairman

On January 3, 2017, Timothy G. Massad announced that he will step down as chairman of the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (“CFTC” or “Commission”) on Inauguration Day, January 20, 2017.  Chairman Massad’s announcement also notes that he will also step down as a Commissioner after a few weeks. President Barack Obama nominated Chairman Massad to … Continue Reading

CFTC Proposes Capital Rules for Swap Dealers and Major Swap Participants

On December 2, 2016, the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (“CFTC”) proposed rules establishing capital requirements for swap dealers (“SDs”) and major swap participants (“MSPs”). The CFTC’s proposed capital rules would cover those swap dealers and major swap participants that are not subject to prudential regulation. Chairman Timothy Massad noted in his attached statement that the … Continue Reading

House Freedom Caucus Takes Aim at Financial Regulations

On December 14, 2016, House Freedom Caucus Chairman Mark Meadows released a special report (the “Report”) detailing over 200 rules, regulations, and executive orders the Caucus recommends that President-Elect Donald Trump should examine, revoke, or issue in his first 100 days in office. The report targets for repeal a diverse set of regulations finalized or … Continue Reading

CFTC Commissioner Giancarlo Delivers Speech Urging Regulatory Reform

On December 9, 2016, Commodity Futures Trading Commission (“CFTC”) Commissioner J. Christopher Giancarlo delivered the keynote address at the International Swaps and Derivatives Association Trade Execution Legal Forum.  His address included a strong rebuke of the CFTC’s swaps trading regime, stating that the “time has come for the CFTC to revisit its flawed swaps trading … Continue Reading

Pre-trial Briefing: CFTC v. Wilson and the Requirement of Intent to Cause an Artificial Price in Attempted Manipulation Cases

The Commodity Futures Trading Commission is set to begin its trial of Donald R. Wilson and his proprietary trading firm, DRW Investments, LLC on December 1, 2016.  In advance of this trial, this alert provides the legal theory that will be tested during this trial and other observations related to the CFTC’s pursuit of attempted … Continue Reading

“Flash Crash” Derivatives Trader Settles Spoofing Case

On November 17, 2016, a federal court entered a consent order that will settle the civil case the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (“CFTC”) brought against Navinder Singh Sarao and his company, Nav Sarao Futures Limited PLC, for engaging in a “spoofing” scheme and manipulating the price of the Chicago Mercantile Exchange’s E-mini S&P 500 futures … Continue Reading

Ag. Committee Chairman Tells Massad and CFTC “Pens Down” on Pending Rules

As we have noted in a recent client alert, the transition to the Trump administration is likely to have a significant impact on the regulatory agenda of the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (“CFTC” or “Commission”). House Agriculture Committee Chairman K. Michael Conaway wants to ensure that the status quo is preserved until such time as … Continue Reading

Post-Election Outlook: Derivatives Regulatory Agenda

On November 8, 2016, American voters elected Republican Donald J. Trump as President.  In addition, Republicans maintained control of the House of Representatives and the Senate.  As the campaign rhetoric fades into the background over the coming weeks and months, the business of transitioning to a new administration will begin in earnest.  The results of … Continue Reading

CFTC Issues Order Postponing Swap Dealer De Minimis Threshold Drop

On October 13, 2016, the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) issued an order postponing until December 31, 2018, the lowering of the swap dealer de minimis threshold to $3 billion.  The Dodd-Frank Act provided that, absent action by the CFTC, the swap dealer de minimis threshold — the gross notional amount of swap dealing activity … Continue Reading

CFTC Enforcement Outlook: Insider Trading

Insider trading is a familiar term to participants in the equities markets; however, this term now has application in the swaps, futures, and commodities markets regulated by the U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission. In a time of aggressive enforcement, financial market participants should be aware that insider trading is a high priority for the CFTC … Continue Reading
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