Regulatory Relief

Cross-Border Transaction-Level Reporting Relief Extended

On November 14th, the CFTC’s Divisions of Swap Dealer and Intermediary Oversight, Clearing and Risk, and Market Oversight issued a time-limited no-action letter that extends relief to swap dealers registered with the CFTC that are established under the laws of jurisdictions other than the United States from certain transaction- level requirements under the Commodity Exchange Act. Subject to the limitations stated in the letter, the no-action relief is extended until the earlier of September 30, 2015 or the effective date of any CFTC action regarding cross- border transaction-level reporting requirements. CFTC Press Release.

Other Developments

Chair Massad Voices Concern Over E.U. Benchmark Proposal

On November 20th, Argus Media summarized a letter from CFTC Chair Timothy Massad to U.S. legislatures in which he expressed his concerns over proposed E.U. rules for commodity benchmarks. The proposed rules would prohibit European firms from using non-E.U. benchmarks unless they are subject to a regulatory framework equivalent to that employed in the E.U. Argus quotes Massad as saying that the “equivalency requirement would prohibit E.U. institutions from hedging using thousands of products traded on U.S. futures exchanges and swap execution facilities." Letter.

Market Risk Advisory Committee

On November 19th, CFTC Commissioner Sharon Y. Bowen, who sponsors the agency’s newly-formed Market Risk Advisory Committee, requested public comment on the Committee’s priorities and its composition. The Committee will focus on issues related to market structure and systemic risk. Proposed topics upon which the Committee should focus in making recommendations to the CFTC and nominations for Committee membership should be submitted on or before December 3, 2014. CFTC Press Release.

CFTC Launches SmartCheck

On November 19th, the CFTC announced the launch of SmartCheck, a national campaign to help investors identify and protect themselves against financial fraud. The campaign includes a new website, a national advertising campaign, and interactive videos to educate investors. The SmarthCheck website, SmartCheck.CFTC.gov, provides portal access to databases from different government and self-regulatory organizations to assist investors in conducting a background check of financial professionals. CFTC Press Release.

Bitcoin as a Commodity

On November 18th, CoinDesk summarized the remarks of CFTC Commissioner Mark Wetjen at a Bitcoin conference. Wetjen believes the agency has the authority to bring an enforcement action involving the manipulation of Bitcoin prices. Regulatory Authority.

CFTC’s Agricultural Advisory Committee to Meet

The CFTC will convene a meeting of the Agricultural Advisory Committee on December 9, 2014. The meeting will focus on issues related to deliverable supplies of agricultural commodities, as they pertain to position limits, and the agricultural economy. CFTC Press Release.