Category: Mutual Funds and Investment Advisers

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CBOE and CME Self-Certify Bitcoin Futures, Cantor Self-Certifies Bitcoin Binary Options and NFA Issues Investor Alert

It was a busy morning at the intersection of derivatives and virtual currencies.  Here is an overview of what happened and some thoughts about what it means for the world of virtual currencies.… Continue Reading

Don’t Forget March 1, 2017: Amending Trading Documentation to Account for New Non-Cleared Swap Margin Requirements

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 … Continue Reading

Buy-Side Reminder: Electronic Filing of CFTC Form 40 Begins at Midnight on November 18th

On your list of things for which to be thankful, remember to add “the ability to electronically file a CFTC Form 40 / 40S”. Here is a very courteous reminder from the CFTC’s Division of Market Oversight that the new era of submitting electronic Form 40 is about to begin. In case some readers do not … Continue Reading

Quick Guide to New Form ADV Derivative and Borrowings Disclosure

The SEC has finalized a rule requiring registered advisers to report certain information related to the use of derivatives and borrowings in separately managed accounts (“SMAs”).  The release can be found here (the “Release”).  This posts seeks to provide advisers with a quick snap shot of the information they will need to collect and disclose.  … Continue Reading

Release 10666 and the Problem of Swaps

In an earlier post, I noted that Release No. IC-10666 was issued before interest rate swaps were invented. This may have been unfortunate, because swaps present unique challenges to Release 10666’s approach to asset segregation. I believe that difficulty with applying Release 10666 to swaps has contributed to inconsistency in the segregation requirements for different derivatives. Swaps: … Continue Reading

Should Asset Segregation Do Double Duty?

I’ve been discussing comments on the SEC’s proposed Rule 18f-4 in light of the SEC’s initial regulation of derivatives in Release No. IC-10666 (“Release 10666”). As explained in my first post, the objectives of the proposed rule include limiting the “speculative character” of funds that use derivatives and assuring they have sufficient assets to cover … Continue Reading

10666 and All That

[Click here for the obscure title reference.] Release No. IC-10666 (“Release 10666”), issued in 1979 under the direction of my partner Marty Lybecker, was the starting point for the SEC’s regulation of derivatives under Section 18 of the Investment Company Act. This release would provide the basis for proposed Rule 18f‑4’s regulation of “financial commitment transactions.” Many … Continue Reading

Could the Use of Derivatives Create a “Toxic Brew?”

This post continues my consideration of some conceptual questions underlying the SEC’s proposed Rule 18f-4. The following comment on the proposal caught my attention: Congress is stating [in Section 1(b) of the Investment Company Act] that there is a problem when leverage unduly increases the “speculative character” (what we now call risk) of the investments. … Continue Reading

Limitations on the Limitation of Leverage in Investment Companies

A CLE presentation gave me an excuse to read many of the comment letters regarding the SEC’s proposed Rule 18f-4, which would regulate the amount of “senior security transactions” in which an investment company could engage. I filed a personal comment letter responding to the SEC’s initial concept release in 2011. The proposed rule and … Continue Reading

CPOs and CTAs: Affirm Exemptions Before February 29, 2016

Happy New Year! As a reminder, any person claiming certain relief from the requirement to register as a commodity pool operator (CPO) or commodity trading advisor (CTA) must submit an annual affirmation to the National Futures Association (“NFA”) by February 29, 2016. In particular, such affirmation must be filed by any person relying on the exemption … Continue Reading

Attention CPOs: NFA Now Requires Cover Page and An Additional Financial Item

On Februrary 10th, the National Futures Association (“NFA”) announced that it was making two changes to its EasyFile system.  Both changes relate to the information that is required to be filed by a commodity pool operator (CPO) in respect of annual pool financial statements.  In particular, a CPO must now:… Continue Reading

Issues and Trends of Interest to Buy-Side Derivatives End-Users: ISDA Publishes Survey

ISDA recently published the results of a survey that it conducted to identify key issues and trends for the buy-side, derivatives end-user community.  The results are fascinating and, we blelieve, accurately reflect the experiences of many market participants and professionals that are involved in the over-the-counter (OTC) derivatives markets.  The following is a brief summary of … Continue Reading

Swap Execution Facility to Trade Bitcoin Swaps

TeraExchange, LLC (TeraExchange), a swap execution facility (“SEF”) registered with the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (“CFTC”), has announced it will begin trading a non-deliverable forward based upon the U.S. Dollar price of bitcoin (“Bitcoin Swap”). TeraExchange filed a self-certification application for the Bitcoin Swap with the CFTC on September 11, 2014 and issued a press … Continue Reading
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