Staff Guidance on Form TO.

On February 28, the Division of Market Oversight republished guidance regarding the Trade Option Form filing process and the circumstances which trigger the filing requirement. CFTC Press Release.

Regulatory Relief

Relief for Affiliated Counterparties is Extended.

On March 6th, the CFTC's Divisions of Clearing and Risk ("DCR") and Market Oversight ("DMO") extended to December 31, 2014, previously provided time-limited no-action relief to certain affiliated counterparties. DCR issued a no-action letter extending the time-limitation contained in the alternative compliance frameworks available to certain affiliated counterparties pursuant to CFTC Regulation 50.52(b)(4)(ii)-(iii). DCR No-Action Letter. DMO issued a no-action letter providing time-limited no-action relief from the requirements of the trade execution requirement in Commodity Exchange Act Section 2(h)(8) to eligible affiliate counterparties, as defined by CFTC regulation, that engage in swap transactions with one another that involve a swap subject to the trade execution requirement. DMO No-Action Letter. See also CFTC Press Release.

Other Developments

CFTC Nominees Appear Before Senate Committee.

On March 6th, Bloomberg summarized the testimony of Timothy Massad, President Obama's nominee to lead the CFTC, at a Senate committee confirmation hearing. Massad said the adoption of position limits would be a priority for him. Sharon Bowen and J. Christopher Giancarlo, who have been nominated as CFTC Commissioners, also appeared before the Senate Agriculture Committee. Confirmation Hearing. Reuters noted that of the three nominees Bowen, who is the acting chair of the Securities Investor Protection Corporation, is the only one whose nomination may face serious opposition. Bowen participated in the SIPC's decision to deny SIPC coverage to victims of R. Allen Stanford's Ponzi scheme. Opposition.

CFTC and FERC Implement Information Sharing Agreement.

On March 5th, the CFTC and the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission announced the initial transmission of market data under the recently-adopted CFTC-FERC Memorandum of Understanding for use in analyzing market activities and protecting market integrity. The agencies have also created a staff-level Interagency Surveillance and Data Analytics Working Group to coordinate information sharing between the agencies and focus on data security, data sharing infrastructure, and the use of analytical tools for regulatory purposes. CFTC Press Release.

CFTC to Hold Roundtable Discussion of Regulations Affecting End-Users.

The CFTC will hold a public roundtable on April 3, 2014 to discuss issues concerning end-users and the Dodd-Frank Act. The roundtable will consist of three panels, discussing the obligations of end-users under CFTC Regulation 1.35 concerning recordkeeping for commodity interest and related cash or forward transactions; the appropriate regulatory treatment of forward contracts with embedded volumetric optionality; and the appropriate regulatory treatment for purposes of the $25 million (special entity) de minimis threshold for swap dealing to government-owned electric utilities. CFTC Press Release.