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ISDA AGM: What Does the Future Hold for the OTC Markets?

By Jim Bennett
Published April 23, 2014 FOW Intelligence

Regulation and how the derivatives industry is coming to terms with this new market order was the central theme of the recent ISDA AGM in Munich, says Jim Bennett, Sapient Global Markets.

This was reflected in the various panel discussions and the chatter on the conference floor and through the exhibition hall.

From the opening address and throughout the following two days, the event focused on the benefits derivatives can bring to end-users and the regulatory barriers that might prevent their continued use. This included the requirement to execute some trades on swap execution facilities (SEFs), as well as clearing and reporting requirements.

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Top Banking Executives Defect as Image Problems and Regulations Bite

By Martin Arnold
Published April 24, 2014 Financial Times

Why would anyone in their right mind want to run a big UK bank? This question, posed by a British executive working at a high level in a Wall Street bank in London, underscores the challenges facing the sector more than five years after the financial crisis.

The executive had spent the previous hour rattling off many of the reasons why a job at the top of a big bank was no longer such an attractive prize for an ambitious financier. These include regulation, squeezed profits, lower pay and a besmirched image.

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European Swap Platforms May Shun US Recognition

By Anish Puaar
Published April 21, 2014 Financial News

The latest attempt by the US Commodity Trading Futures Commission to clarify its rules was “too little, too late”, one operator said, adding that it might not be worth applying for approval.

The CFTC rules are intended to ensure that US participation in swaps trades in the EU is subject to some of the essential risk-reduction measures of swap execution facilities, the new platforms in the US on which trading in many popular swap contracts became mandatory in February.

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Time for a Change in Derivatives Trading

By Anish Puaar
Published April 21, 2014 Financial News

The clock has finally started ticking down to one of the most substantial changes ever seen in the European market for over-the-counter derivatives, a significant part of the global market worth €692 trillion at the end of June 2013, according to the Bank for International Settlements.

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Esma Chief Warns Securities Regulators on Monitoring Risk

By Sam Fleming and Philip Stafford
Published April 20, 2014 Financial Times

Securities watchdogs have inadequate resources to cope with their new regulatory responsibility for monitoring systemic risk, the EU’s top markets regulator has warned.

Steven Maijoor, chairman of the European Securities and Markets Authority , said legislation passed last week by the European parliament amounted to the “biggest overhaul of the capital markets in a generation” – but warned that the authorities had a long way to go before putting the regime into practice.

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US Regulators to Monitor London Over-the-Counter Swaps

By Philip Stafford
Published April 20, 2014 Financial Times

Part of London’s lucrative over-the-counter swaps market is set to come under direct US regulatory oversight as dealers in the UK capital wrestle with meeting tighter rules for overseas swaps dealers accessing US markets.

ICAP, the world’s largest interdealer broker, will next month begin trading US dollar-denominated swaps from its London home on a new US-regulated electronic marketplace.

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EU Clampdown on ‘Flash Boy’ Traders Turns Technical

By Philip Stafford and Alex Barker
Published April 14, 2014 Financial Times

The battle to rein in high-frequency traders in Europe is about to shift to the arcane world of rule writing, as the EU seeks to give teeth to the world’s toughest clampdown on the sector.

On Tuesday, the European Parliament will pass the most sweeping reforms of market regulation since the financial crisis, in an attempt to catch up with technologies that allow traders to seek nanoseconds of advantage when buying and selling.

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Modernizing our Regulatory Structure

By Richard H. Neiman and Mark Olson
Published April 14, 2014 The Hill's Congress Blog

Streamlining America’s financial regulatory architecture was a major missed opportunity in the Dodd-Frank Act. Our existing structure is a patchwork of reactions to past financial crises that date back more than 150 years. Modernizing this patchwork system would improve regulation, enhance financial stability and increase economic growth. Today, we propose a road map for how to achieve these goals.

Each major U.S. financial regulator was created following a crisis. The need for Civil War funding birthed the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC). The Panic of 1907 brought about the creation of the Federal Reserve. The Great Depression resulted in the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation and the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).

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New Bill Wades Into CFTC Overreach Debate

By Richard Henderson
Published April 11, 2014 The Trade

The Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) may be limited in its ability to enforce new swaps rules if a bill that has gained early support in the US House of Representatives is passed.

The Customer Protection and End-User Relief Act on Wednesday was approved by the US House Agriculture Committee with bipartisan support and may face a full vote on the House floor.

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Massad Moves Step Closer to Leading CFTC

By Peter Schroeder
Published April 8, 2014 The Hill's On the Money

President Obama's pick to head the Commodity Futures Trading Commission took a step closer to confirmation Tuesday.

The Senate Agriculture Committee signed off on Timothy Massad to serve as the financial regulator’s next chairman by a voice vote. The panel also approved a pair of nominees to serve as CFTC commissioners, Sharon Bowen and J. Christopher Giancarlo.

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