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CFTC Turns Toward Administrative Judges

By Jean Eaglesham
November 9, 2014, The Wall Street Journal

The Commodity Futures Trading Commission plans to start steering some of its cases against trading firms, brokers and others to administrative law judges appointed by federal agencies, instead of trials in federal court, according to a top official.

The move comes as defense lawyers criticize the escalating use of administrative law judges by regulators pursuing financial wrongdoing, saying it eliminates an independent jury from the process. Securities and Exchange Commission officials have said previously they intend to more often use administrative proceedings for insider-trading and other complicated cases.

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Dodd-Frank's Swaps "Push-out" Rule Upsets Smaller Banks

By Victoria McGrane
October 31, 2014 The Wall Street Journal

Regional banks are quietly joining the fight against one of the most hated Dodd-Frank provisions on Wall Street.

The target is the so-called swaps push-out provision, which requires banks to spin off certain derivatives trading activities into units that don’t enjoy access to the government safety net.

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Buy-Side Concerns: Liquidity, Transparency

Published October 20, 2014 Markets Media

Market structure issues are percolating to the surface, with potentially far-reaching impacts on dark pools, order routing disclosures, and market making.

Regarding dark pools, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission has stated on numerous occasions that’s it’s considering a trade-at rule, similar to that which exists in Canada, that could in theory place dark pools at a competitive disadvantage to lit exchanges.

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EC 'Drops' CDS Probe

By Christopher Spink
Published October 18, 2014 IFR

Goldman Sachs believes part of the antitrust investigation by the European Commission into the credit default swaps market has been “suspended indefinitely”, according to its latest quarterly SEC filing.

The EC opened a two-part inquiry into the market in April 2011. One aspect tried to see if 16 banks and index provider Markit had collaborated to control a dominant position in CDS information.

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SEC Official Says Too Many Regulators Are ‘Piling On’

By Suzi Ring
Published October 15, 2014 Bloomberg

When too many U.S. authorities conduct overlapping investigations it can disrupt regulatory probes and lead to unnecessary lawsuits, a Securities and Exchange Commission official said.

“A particular firm could be sued by seven different regulators,” Scott Friestad, associate director of the SEC’s enforcement division, said today at a conference in London. “There’s a risk of all piling on and there needs to be care that it makes sense.”

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Cross-Asset Universal Product Identifier: The Solution the Industry Is Looking For?

By Jim Bennett
October 14, 2014 Wall Street & Technology

During the past few years, firms have had to deal with a series of global regulatory changes, including the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform Act in the US; European Market Infrastructure Regulation (EMIR), Markets in Financial Instruments Directive (MiFID), and Regulation (MiFIR) in Europe; and reporting and clearing requirements in Asia.

These have resulted in numerous international regulatory bodies enforcing a series of new regulations for various jurisdictions, such as the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) and Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) in the US; the European Commission (EC) and European Securities and Markets Authority (ESMA) in Europe; the Financial Market Supervisory Authority (FINMA) in Switzerland; the Federal Financial Supervisory Authority (BaFin) in Germany; and the Financial Advisory Committee (FAC) in China, to ensure transparency of trading activities and reduce systemic risk

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Obama Meets Top U.S. Financial Regulators at White House

By Victoria McGrane
Published October 6, 2014 The Wall Street Journal

President Barack Obama on Monday urged U.S. financial regulators to keep looking for new ways to rein in excessive risk-taking in the financial sector, possibly through compensation and additional capital rules for the biggest financial firms, a White House spokesman said.

In a meeting Monday morning at the White House, Mr. Obama urged regulators “to consider additional ways to prevent excessive risk-taking across the financial system, including as they continue to work on compensation rules and capital standards,” White House press secretary Josh Earnest said during a press briefing Monday.

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CFTC Gripped by Fiscal Year-End Hiring Frenzy

By Alexander Osipovich
Published September 29, 2014 Risk

Budget uncertainties are leading the CFTC to make a last-minute hiring push before a September 30 deadline, in what has become an annual tradition for the agency

The US government's fiscal year ends on September 30, and that means one thing at the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC): it's time to hire new employees, the quicker the better.

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Regulators Weighing New Rules for Private Trading Venues

By Scott Patterson
Published September 10, 2014 The Wall Street Journal

Market regulators are considering imposing additional steps to require greater transparency and disclosures by private trading platforms and heightened oversight of computerized trading strategies.

The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority will weigh a new set of rules at its Sept. 19 meeting, including a proposal that would require trading platforms, including so-called dark pools, to provide additional details about buy and sell orders. Dark pools are alternative trading venues that currently don't post buy and sell orders, only reporting trades after they take place.

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Clearinghouses Get CFTC Scrutiny So Solution Isn’t Problem

By Silla Brush and Robert Schmidt
Published September 8, 2014 Bloomberg

The U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission plans to intensify oversight of swaps clearinghouses to ensure they don’t threaten the financial system they are meant to help secure.

CFTC Chairman Timothy Massad said in a Sept. 5 interview that his agency will bolster examinations of clearinghouses, which process trillions of dollars in transactions and are potentially vulnerable to market shocks or cyber attacks. The agency is working with the Federal Reserve on the effort, he said.

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