In testimony earlier today before the House Agricultural Committee, CFTC Chairman Christopher Giancarlo announced his advocacy of a one-year delay in the implementation of the reduction in swap dealer de minimis level.  As background, a bank or other market participant can engage in a de minimis level of swap dealing activity without having to register as a swap dealer.  Presently, the de minimis level is set at $8 billion,
Continue Reading CFTC To Further Delay Swap Dealer DeMinimis Phase-In

Earlier today, European regulators and the Federal Reserve Board and the Office of the Comptroller of Currency provided additional relief (of sorts) from the March 1st variation margin deadline and related amendments of credit support documentation for non-cleared swaps.   This relief was provided by the regulators in recognition of the challenges faced by market participants in amending trading and credit support documentation in time for the March 1, 2017 variation margin deadline.  The following is a “Plain English” overview of where things stand in less than 300 words:
Continue Reading US and European Regulators Issue Additional Relief from March 1st Variation Margin Deadline for Non-Cleared Swaps

The International Swaps and Derivatives Association (“ISDA”) has published a very useful 2-page checklist of steps that should be taken in order to get ready for the March 1, 2017 Variation Margin deadline.  In summary, ISDA has identified four steps:
Continue Reading ISDA Publishes List of Steps Required to Get Ready for the March 1, 2017 Variation Margin Deadline

Many buy-side market participants are in the process of grappling with issues related to the amendment of their derivatives trading documentation in order to account for new U.S. margin requirements that will apply to non-cleared swaps beginning on March 1, 2017 (the “Implementation Date”).  But, in our experience, a large number of market participants have not yet begun to consider how they are going to implement the required changes despite the fact that the Implementation Date is only a little over three months away.  In this posting, we offer a few thoughts on a protocol that was recently published by the International Swaps and Derivatives Association (“ISDA”) to facilitate amendments to ISDA Master Agreements and related Credit Support Annexes that account for the new non-cleared swap margin rules recently enacted by U.S. regulators.
Continue Reading Don’t Forget March 1, 2017: Amending Trading Documentation to Account for New Non-Cleared Swap Margin Requirements

Two recent letters from the CFTC staff hold that, beginning October 14, 2016, its regulations will prohibit investment of client funds by futures commission merchants (“FCMs”) and derivatives clearing organizations (“DCOs”) in prime money market funds (“Prime MMFs”). Although the staff’s positions are clearly articulated, I found their relationship to Regulation 1.25 questionable.
Continue Reading CFTC Limits Investment of Client Funds to Government Money Market Funds