On April 25, 2019, the U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission (“CFTC”) announced its approval of a proposed rule and request for comment (“Proposed Rule”) that, if finalized, would amend swap data repository (“SDR”) regulations. The Proposed Rule also proposes to amend existing SDR reporting requirements for market participants. In sum, if adopted, the Proposed Rule will require market participants who are subject to reporting obligations under Part 45 of the CFTC Rules (“reporting counterparties”) to:

  • verify the accuracy of swap data against swaps reports generated and provided by the SDR; and
  • correct swap data errors and omissions “as soon as technologically practicable . . . but no later than three business days following” discovery of the error or omission.

Similarly, any non-reporting counterparty that discovers an error or omission would have to lodge a report with the reporting counterparty as soon as technologically practicable but within three business days after discovering the error or omission.

The comment period for the Proposed Rule ends on July 29, 2019. The remainder of this post provides additional information about the Proposed Rule and potential implications for market participants.

Continue Reading CFTC Begins Implementing Swap Data Roadmap; Proposes Additional Reporting Requirements

In April 2019, the International Swaps and Derivatives Association, Inc. (“ISDA”) published the results of its latest survey of the margin amounts collected by market participants. The publication identifies key themes derived from a 2018 survey of firms that are subject to the Prudential Regulator or U.S. Commodity & Futures Trading Commission (“CFTC”) initial margin (“IM”) requirements. In this post, we summarize themes presented in the survey summary in the context of the margin requirements.
Continue Reading ISDA Survey Highlights Growth in Initial Margin Collection In 2018 As Final Phases Draw Near

On September 19, 2018, ISDA published the ISDA Benchmarks Supplement (the “Supplement”) to enable parties to include fall back provisions in their trades if a benchmark ceases to be provided by the administrator to the benchmark or if a regulator of the administrator, the applicable central bank or applicable resolution authority announces that the administrator shall cease to provide a benchmark  (an “index cessation event”). The Supplement covers the following ISDA definitions booklets:

  • 2006 ISDA Definitions;
  • 2002 ISDA Equity Derivatives Definitions;
  • 1998 FX and Currency Option Definitions;
  • 2005 ISDA Commodity Definitions.

The Supplement also introduces the concept of an “Administrator/Benchmark Event” which applies if a benchmark or an administrator is not approved and therefore cannot be used by the parties in accordance with applicable law.
Continue Reading LIBOR Benchmark Transition Planning: ISDA Benchmarks Supplement

This post builds upon an idea presented in Part 4 of current series of posts on considerations for investment funds and advisers related to cryptocurrency derivatives.

In particular, this post provides additional perspectives on the relationship of leverage, margin, and financing to two commodity interests: “retail commodity transactions” and a “swaps”.  We decided to present these comments separate from the current multi-part series on cryptocurrency derivatives, since the topic may appeal to a broader audience than funds and advisers.

This post was co-authored with Michael Selig, an associate attorney in the New York office of Perkins Coie.

Continue Reading Swaps and Retail Commodity Transactions (Leverage, Margin or Financing: Will We Know It When We See It or Only After It Has Been Identified As Such?)

This post is the fourth in a series that outlines key considerations for investment funds and their advisers regarding the application of the U.S. commodity laws to cryptocurrency derivatives.  This post is intended to be a primer on the topic and is not legal advice.  You should consult with your counsel regarding the application of the U.S. Commodity laws to your particular facts and circumstances.

In this Part 4, we discuss the commodity interests that are likely to be of greatest interest to crypto funds and advisers: futures contracts, swaps and retail commodity transactions.

At the outset, a sincere thanks goes out to Conor O’Hanlon and Michael Selig for their invaluable assistance and time spent thinking through many of the issues that are at this heart of this post and, more generally, this series.

Continue Reading Cryptocurrency Derivatives, Funds and Advisers: Key Considerations Under U.S. Commodity Laws (Part 4: About the Interests of Interest)

Links to Text of Rules

Final Rules: http://www.sec.gov/rules/final.shtml

Proposed Rules: http://www.sec.gov/rules/proposed.shtml

2015 Timeline Final Rules (F) and Proposed Rules (P)

(F) February 2015 Finalized Registration and Governance Rules that Apply to SBS Data Repositories

(F) February 2015 Finalized SBS Data Reporting Rules

(P) February 2015 Proposed Rules to Implement the Finalized Reporting Rules, Establish Certain