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Obama Seeks More Money for Agencies Enforcing Dodd-Frank Rules

By Silla Brush and Dave Michaels
February 2, 2015, Bloomberg

President Barack Obama is making a renewed push to boost funding for Wall Street’s top cops after regulators said budget constraints were keeping them from enforcing rules put in place after the financial crisis.

The funding requests for fiscal 2016, released by the White House Monday as part of a broad spending proposal for the federal government, would raise the Securities and Exchange Commission’s budget 15 percent to $1.7 billion. The Commodity Futures Trading Commission, the main U.S. regulator of the $700 trillion global swaps market, would get a 29 percent increase to $322 million.

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SEFs Prepare for Build Out

By Mike Kentz
January 24, 2015, IFR

Swap execution facilities in the US are poised to build out their trading functionalities and launch products in the early stages of 2015 in an effort to stay relevant in the soon-to-consolidate market that will eventually encompass the bulk of the US$693trn over-the-counter market.

Tradition, one of five major inter-dealer brokers in the rates market, intends to build out an electronic request-for-quote system for interest rate swaps in the early stages of 2015, though company officials said they do not have a specific timeline.

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SEC Passes Single-Name CDS Rules

By Mike Kentz
January 17, 2015, IFR

The US Securities and Exchange Commission last week passed two rules governing the reporting of over-the-counter security-based swaps to newly established trade repositories.

The passage of the rules represents a major step forward for an agency playing catch-up with its sister derivatives regulator, the CFTC, in implementation of Dodd-Frank reforms

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SEC Adopts Rules Establishing Regime for Swap Data Warehouses

By Sarah N. Lynch
January 14, 2015, Reuters

U.S. securities regulators took another step toward shedding more light on the over-the-counter derivatives market Wednesday, adopting a raft of measures to give them a direct window into the opaque market.

The Securities and Exchange Commission's rules lay out a regulatory framework for "swap data repositories" like those operated by the Depository Trust & Clearing Corp, a specialized warehouse that collects trillions of dollars worth of swaps trades, shares it with regulators, and disseminates aggregated data to the public.

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House Republican Push to Roll Back Wall Street Regulations Fails

By Andrew Ackerman and Siobhan Hughes 
January 7, 2015, The Wall Street Journal

A push by House Republicans to roll back a series of Wall Street regulations failed to advance Wednesday amid resistance from Democrats, an unexpected setback for the GOP’s efforts to use its increased majority to ease financial rules.

Republicans were six votes short of the two-thirds support needed to advance the legislation, which included a controversial delay to a provision stemming from the 2010 Dodd-Frank requirement that banks sell stakes in certain complex securities. The bill failed by a vote of 276-146. 

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Regulatory Predictions 2015

By Annette L. Nazareth and Gabriel D. Rosenberg
January 5, 2015, Financial Times

A year ago we offered our regulatory predictions for 2014. We correctly predicted a busy year of financial reform implementation, as well as intensified discussions of the relationships among international regulators. Many of these themes will continue this year.

1. Volcker implementation efforts dominate . . .

Banking entities spent much of 2014 interpreting the new Volcker rule regulations and planning for its impact. In the final quarter, they turned their attention to implementation ahead of the July 21 compliance deadline. Those efforts will dominate at major banking institutions, particularly with respect to the proprietary trading provisions for which no time extension has been granted.

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SEC Agenda 2015: Swaps, 'Pay ratio' and New Republican Oversight

By Patrick Temple-West
January 4, 2015, Financial Times

Liberal-leaning advocacy groups are revving up their lobbying of the the Securities and Exchange Commission, hoping to get the agency to finish its remaining rules from the 2010 financial reform law before the new Republican majority in Congress gets a chance to rewrite them.

Meanwhile, pro-business groups are drawing up a wish list of changes to the Dodd-Frank law they believe are too onerous. These groups also want Congress to draft legislation that would build on the SEC’s work for small businesses as a follow up to the 2012 JOBS Act.

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Fed Downplays Worries About Leveraged ETFs

By Pedro Nicolaci Da Costa
December 30, 2014, The Wall Street Journal

Concerns that leveraged exchange-traded funds could fuel undue market volatility are misplaced because they ignore the offsetting effects from capital flows on the need for the funds to adjust to the benchmarks they track, according to two Federal Reserve Board economists.

The Securities and Exchange Commission specifically cited worries about the use of derivatives products in mutual funds in a 2010 review.  It has since issued guidance for buy-and-hold investors warning of “extra risks” from the products.

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SEC, CFTC Would See Modest Funding Increases in Spending Plan

By Andrew Ackerman and Scott Patterson
December 10, 2014, The Wall Street Journal

The top two regulators charged with implementing and policing tough new rules for the financial industry would see modest funding increases under a $1.1 trillion spending plan House and Senate lawmakers unveiled late Tuesday.

Under the plan, which would fund the government through September, the Securities and Exchange Commission would see its funding levels rise $150 million to $1.5 billion. The Commodity Futures Trading Commission would receive a $35 million boost to $250 million.

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CFTC Head Defends Agency from Idea of Merging

By Eric Garcia
November 12, 2014, MarketWatch

The recent news of banks trying to manipulate foreign-exchange markets has at least one regulator defending his role.

After news of the Commodity Futures Trading Commission ordering five banks to pay more than $1.4 billion over foreign-exchange trading abuses, Chairman Timothy Massad defended the agency from proposals of merging with the Securities Exchange Commission because the two agencies had different purposes.

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