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SEC Aims to Loosen Rules on Foreign Broker-Dealers in U.S., Official Says

By Nick Paraskeva
Published November 26, 2013 Reuters Financial Regulatory Forum

U.S. securities regulators are looking to loosen rules for foreign-broker dealers acting in the U.S. on a cross-border basis. The change would come in the wake of new policy being adopted to implement derivatives cross-border rules under Dodd-Frank. The reform was outlined by John Ramsay, Acting Director, Division of Trading and Markets of the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).

Rulemaking priorities at the SEC division include the Volcker rule on proprietary trading, derivatives and a proposal for firms and exchanges to test major systems.

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Volcker Hedging Exemption Said Disputed by Gensler, Stein

By Jesse Hamilton
Published October 24, 2013 Bloomberg

Officials at two of the agencies charged with writing the Volcker rule banning U.S. banks from trading for their own accounts are insisting on strengthening a key provision.

Gary Gensler, chairman of the Commodity Futures Trading Commission, and Kara Stein, a Democrat on the Securities and Exchange Commission, want to make it more difficult for banks to classify such trading as legitimate hedging activity, according to three people familiar with the negotiations.

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SEC Throws Spanner in the Works of New Derivatives Regime

By Tom Braithwaite and Michael Mackenzie
Published October 2, 2013 Financial Times

The new world of electronic derivatives trading that launched this week has hit another snag in the unlikely form of the Securities and Exchange Commission.

US banks, institutional investors, European regulators and Democratic and Republican commissioners of the Commodity Futures Trading Commission had already pleaded for moderation and delay to the huge shake-up in derivatives markets.

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Government Shutdown Puts CFTC in Sleep Mode, Prompts Potential Freezes at SEC

By Scott Patterson and Jamila Trindle
Published October 1, 2013 WSJ's Money Beat

As the government shutdown rippled across Washington, one agency particularly hard hit was the Commodity Futures Trading Commission. The agency’s spokesman sent an email Tuesday saying that the agency’s public affairs office “is now closed due to a lack of appropriations.” The agency’s enforcement division, which is juggling high-profile cases against firms such as MF Global Holdings Ltd. and J.P. Morgan Chase & Co., has only eight permanent employees on staff, with others who can be deemed necessary for a particular case, according to a person familiar with the agency.

The CFTC’s summary of operations during a shutdown, released last week, said the functions of the enforcement division will “largely cease.”

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Volcker Rule Costs Tallied as U.S. Regulators Press Deadline

By Jesse Hamilton and Cheyenna Hopkins
Published September 30, 2013 Bloomberg

The fate of the Dodd-Frank Act’s ban on banks trading for their own accounts -- one of the final pieces of the U.S. effort to prevent a repeat of the 2008 financial crisis -- may rest with a cluster of economists at the Securities and Exchange Commission.

The agency’s 50 economists are attempting to calculate the costs and benefits of the so-called Volcker rule, a linchpin of the financial overhaul that would curb the kind of high-stakes proprietary trading that could lead to crippling losses or bailouts at banks like JPMorgan Chase & Co. (JPM) or Citigroup Inc. (C)

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NYSE CEO Calls for More Shared Services Among Finance Companies

By Steve Rosenbush
Published September 23, 2013 WSJ's CIO Journal

Financial institutions should upgrade their outdated technology systems and share the new infrastructure, NYSE Euronext Inc. CEO Duncan Niederaurer said on Monday.

“We need for the industry to get off their legacy systems. It is about survival,” Mr. Niederaurer said on Monday during an Oracle Corp.  technology conference in San Francisco, where he was interviewed on stage by Oracle President Mark Hurd. The comments were broadcast over the Oracle website.

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Volcker Rule to Curb Bank Trading Proves Hard to Write

By Scott Patterson and Deborah Solomon
Published September 10, 2013 Wall Street Journal

Hours after being sworn in as Treasury Secretary in February, Jacob Lew pulled regulators into a conference room and delivered a blunt message: Get the Volcker rule done.

On Tuesday, half a year later, Mr. Lew found himself leading another meeting with regulators about the still-unfinished rule.

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Last Chance for a Fix to Europe's Financial System

By Gabriele Steinhauser
Published August 22, 2013 Wall Street Journal

This autumn will make or break the European Union's efforts to fix its financial system. It's a final chance to decide on postcrisis laws and strategy before EU institutions turn their attention to the 2014 elections.

The European Commission, the bloc's executive arm, will rush out a host of financial-markets proposals, some of which have been in the works for several years. Meanwhile EU member states and the European Parliament will butt heads over new banking laws.

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Businesses Concerned About SEC International Swaps Proposal

By Julian Hattern
Published August 23, 2013 The Hill

Business groups want financial regulators to keep them in mind as they craft new rules for international derivatives deals.

In a letter sent to the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) late on Wednesday, a coalition of business groups including the Chamber of Commerce and the Business Roundtable asked the agency to go easy on institutions that buy derivatives, known as end-users.

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SEC’s White Vows Technology Safeguards Following Nasdaq Failure

By Dave Michaels
Published August 23, 2013 Bloomberg

U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission Chairman Mary Jo White said she would push to adopt proposed automated-trading rules after system errors caused a three-hour halt on the Nasdaq Stock Market.

The failure that affected Nasdaq’s system for reporting quotes and trades bolsters the regulator’s case for the proposal issued in March, White said in a statement yesterday. Stock and options exchanges have pushed the SEC to limit the scope of the rule, including how much information about disruptions must be provided to regulators.

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