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Banks Said Poised to Win Delay of U.S. Curbs on Overseas Swaps

By Silla Brush
August 10, 2015, Bloomberg Business

Wall Street banks are close to winning a further delay of a U.S. policy that clamps down on their overseas derivatives trades, according to two people with knowledge of the matter.

The Commodity Futures Trading Commission is probably going to postpone subjecting transactions set up in the U.S., but held in overseas divisions, to Dodd-Frank Act trading regulations, said the people, who asked not to be named because the deliberations are private. The regulator is weighing how long the delay should be, the people said.

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5 Years After Dodd-Frank, Cross-Border Harmony Still Far Off

By Stephanie Russell-Kraft
July 23, 2015, Law360

In the wake of the 2008 financial crisis, U.S. and European regulators shared many of the same ideas for reforming the largely unregulated derivatives market, but clear differences in the pace and style of their rule-making have emerged, threatening to raise costs and compliance burdens for market participants.

At their landmark September 2009 summit in Pittsburgh, representatives from the G20 countries agreed that most over-the-counter derivatives contracts should be traded on exchanges, cleared through central counterparties that report to trade repositories. The goals were shared, but they were not specific. As a result, their implementation has diverged in the years since, leaving banks, hedge funds and other market participants in regulatory limbo, fearing market fragmentation.

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CFTC Casts Margin Net to Catch U.S. Banks' Affiliates

By Peter Madigan
June 30, 2015, Risk

Agency redefines ‘guarantee’, but lawyers caution it may not stick.

Foreign affiliates of US banks that dropped parental guarantees to avoid trading requirements of the Dodd-Frank Act would still be caught by new cross-border margin rules proposed on June 29 – one of a series of potentially divisive provisions in the draft rules. Lawyers are already challenging the ability of US regulators to regulate so-called non-guaranteed affiliates.

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CFTC to Reconsider Swap Dealer Thresholds

By Mike Kentz
May 30, 2015, IFR

CFTC chairman Timothy Massad is continuing a push to review rules put in place by the previous administration run by Gary Gensler.

Massad announced last week before an audience of energy market participants that the CFTC would conduct a study on whether or not a planned reduction of the “de minimis” threshold for determining whether or not an entity is designated a swap dealer under federal rules was appropriate.

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A Sharp-Elbowed 'Force' Will Watch Over Hillary Clinton's Campaign Finances

By Phil Mattingly
April 22, 2015, Bloomberg Business

On one of his last nights as chairman of the Commodity Futures Trading Commission, Gary Gensler thanked Elizabeth Warren. There were others on the list he ticked through at the affair packed with congressional aides, government officials and even a few lobbyists, but Warren, the Massachusetts senator and star of the left, was one of the first–a recognition for Warren’s role in helping Gensler transform the CFTC from a regulatory backwater into a tough Wall Street cop. "Five years ago, when the president was formulating his financial reform proposals, he placed tremendous confidence in this small agency," Gensler, who led off his remarks quoting President John F. Kennedy, told the crowd. "This confidence in the CFTC was well placed."

It was a notable bookend to Gensler’s transformation from senior Wall Street executive to one of its chief antagonists. It’s a transformation his new boss, Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton, appears inclined to embrace herself. Clinton cares what Warren thinks. It’s why the two met privately to talk policy, and it’s as good a reason as any for why Clinton penned a glowing piece on Warren for Time’s “100 Most Influential People.” And Clinton’s hiring of Gensler as her campaign's chief financial officer was seen as another savvy, yet somewhat transparent, message to the left that she hears the concerns that she is too close to Wall Street. "This is sending a signal," says former Representative Barney Frank of Massachusetts, himself a veteran of battles over Wall Street regulation during his time in Congress. 

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Hillary Clinton Said to Hire Former Wall Street Cop as Campaign CFO

By Phil Mattingly
April 16, 2015, Bloomberg Business

Hillary Clinton is planning to name Gary Gensler, a former top federal financial regulator and strong advocate for strict Wall Street rules, as the chief financial officer of her campaign, according to a Democrat familiar with the decision.

Gensler, in his role as chairman of the Commodity Futures Trading Commission, was a leading player in the drafting and then implementation of the Dodd-Frank Act, the financial rules that President Barack Obama signed into law in 2010 in the wake of the worst financial crisis since the Great Depression. Gensler also served in President Bill Clinton's Treasury Department. 

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DERIVATIVES: CFTC Commissioner Calls for Cross-Border Reset

By Mike Kentz
Published September 24, 2014 IFR

Five years to the day after international regulators agreed on a sweeping framework for the reform of global financial markets following the 2008 crisis, US and EU regulators are still struggling to synchronise reform efforts for the over-the-counter derivatives market.

A recently-appointed US regulator, though, today blamed his predecessors for the spat and called for a reset in cross-border reform negotiations. 

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Court Dismisses Lawsuit Against CFTC Over Cross-Border Swaps Rule

By Andrew Ackerman
Published September 16, 2014 The Wall Street Journal

A federal judge affirmed the Commodity Futures Trading Commission's ability to impose its postcrisis rules overseas, handing a win to the agency as it tries to apply its swaps rules both inside and outside the U.S.

U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia Judge Paul Friedman dismissed arguments by three Wall Street trade groups that the CFTC overstepped its authority in issuing new rules and guidance related to overseas swaps transactions. The groups filed the suit in December after the CFTC said overseas affiliates of U.S. banks should have to follow the agency's rules if they use U.S.-located personnel to arrange, execute or negotiate the transaction.

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Ex-LCH Executive Joins CFTC to Advise Massad on Swaps Oversight

By Silla Brush
Published September 16, 2014 Bloomberg

A former executive at the world’s largest clearinghouse for interest-rate swaps has joined the U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission to advise its chief on overseeing the $700 trillion global derivatives market.

Jeffrey Bandman, who was head of partnerships and alliances for LCH.Clearnet Group Ltd., started last week as a counselor to CFTC Chairman Timothy Massad. Bandman, who previously oversaw market data businesses for Cantor Fitzgerald LP, will advise on new rules governing swap data and measures to reduce market risk and boost transparency, according to Steven Adamske, the CFTC’s spokesman.

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Massad Heads to U.S. Swaps Agency as Wall Street Seeks Rollback

By Silla Brush
Published June 3, 2014 Bloomberg

For almost five years, the head of a once obscure U.S. agency fought Wall Street to impose curbs on derivatives that helped ignite the 2008 financial crisis. His successor, Timothy Massad, must now decide how to finish the job.

Massad, nominated last year to replace Gary Gensler at the Commodity Futures Trading Commission, is expected to be confirmed as chairman by the U.S. Senate as soon as this week.

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CFTC Should Reconsider Gensler Advisory, Wetjen Says

By Silla Brush
Published May 30, 2014 Bloomberg

The main U.S. derivatives regulator should consider revising a policy that helped prompt a lawsuit by Wall Street lobbying groups because it extended the reach of rules to deals arranged in the country but held overseas, the agency’s acting chairman said.

The Commodity Futures Trading Commission should look at changing or withdrawing the November advisory, released under former chairman Gary Gensler, that sought to curb bank efforts to skirt the 2010 Dodd-Frank Act by automatically applying the trading rules to such transactions, Mark P. Wetjen, the acting chairman, told reporters after a speech at a legal conference in Washington yesterday.

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Gensler’s Swaps Revolution Begins With GFI Poised to Open Up

By Matthew Leising
Published May 13, 2014 Bloomberg

GFI Group Inc. (GFIG) anticipates that investors will soon start trading swaps on its platform, finally broadening access to a corner of the market previously reserved for banks.

The shift would be a victory for Gary Gensler, the former chairman of the U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission who helped rewrite the rules for the $710 trillion over-the-counter derivatives market. In the model he turned into law, new venues called swap-execution facilities, or SEFs, allow every player in the market -- money managers and banks who traditionally served as their intermediaries -- to trade with each other. Previously, only banks got to buy and sell the derivatives on interdealer platforms run by firms such as GFI.

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U.S. House Panel to Vote on Swaps Regulator Mandate

By Douwe Miedema
Published April 8, 2014 Reuters

U.S. lawmakers on Monday launched a bill to rewrite the rules of of the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC), giving more leeway to smaller players in the derivative markets it oversees.

The agency became one of the most prolific reformers of Wall Street after the financial crisis under its previous chairman, Gary Gensler, who was frequently criticised by some in the financial industry for his hard-nosed style and sometimes-hasty adoption of new rules.

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CFTC May Propose Futures Block-Trading Limits, Commissioner Says

By Neil Roland
Published March 27, 2014 mLex

US regulators may revive a futures block-trading plan similar to one drafted last year by Gary Gensler, then chairman of the Commodity Futures Trading Commission.

The CFTC is considering proposing stricter limits on futures block trading than those now being set by futures exchanges, Commissioner Scott O’Malia said. 

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Commissioners Attack CFTC's No-Action Letters

By Peter Madigan
Published March 14, 2014 Risk

Current and former commissioners of the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) have denounced the agency’s use of no-action letters and staff guidance under the reign of former chairman Gary Gensler, claiming the various exemptions and exclusions papered over cracks in the regulator’s Dodd-Frank Act rules and cut commissioners out of the rule-making process.

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CFTC Nominees on Track for Confirmation

By Peter Schroeder
Published March 7, 2014 The Hill

The Commodity Futures Trading Commission appears poised to refill its ranks, as a trio of nominees faced no discernable opposition at a confirmation hearing Thursday.

Among those looking to join the Wall Street regulator, is Timothy Massad, a former top Treasury official tapped to lead the agency after the exit of its former head, Gary Gensler.

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CFTC-Ferc Deal Leaves Enforcement Question Unanswered

By Alexander Osipovich
Published January 9, 2014 Energy Risk

A recent deal between the US Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) and the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (Ferc) has failed to address a key question on the minds of many energy traders – namely, which of the two agencies will be the primary enforcer of market manipulation rules.

On January 2, the CFTC and Ferc announced they had signed two memorandums of understanding (MOUs) on procedures for sharing information and resolving jurisdictional conflicts between the two agencies, more than three years after they had been required to reach such agreements by the US Dodd-Frank Act.

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One to Watch in 2014: New CFTC Chairman Tim Massad

By Luke Jeffs
Published January 7, 2014 FOW Intelligence

The imminent appointment of Tim Massad as the chariman of the Commodity Futures Trading Commission to replace Gary Gensler comes at a crucial time for the emboldened US futures regulator.

No one would dispute the Commission has transformed under Gensler's leadership.

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Regulator of Wall Street Loses Its Hard-Charging Chairman

By Ben Protess
Published January 2, 2014 NYT DealBook

Gary Gensler squeezed into a Washington auditorium last month, mingling with the 300 guests at his farewell party and basking in the attention as a who’s who of finance recounted his campaign to rein in Wall Street risk-taking.

Treasury Secretary Jacob J. Lew, for one, described the chairman of the Commodity Futures Trading Commission as one of the leading reformers after the financial crisis, according to people who attended the event. Mark Wetjen, a commissioner at the agency who occasionally sparred with Mr. Gensler, remarked that a mutual friend was fond of calling him “a force of nature,” a depiction that elicited knowing nods from a crowd that included Ben S. Bernanke, the departing head of the Federal Reserve, and Jeffrey C. Sprecher, whose company owns the New York Stock Exchange.

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Gary Gensler Defends Record as He Leaves CFTC

By Gina Chon
Published December 30, 2013 Financial Times

Gary Gensler is regarded by some as one of the toughest regulatory cops policing Wall Street.

Over the past five years, the former Goldman Sachs banker helped transform a sleepy Commodity Futures Trading Commission into a more powerful regulatory force.

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