Guidance

CFTC Guidance on Duplicative Reporting.

On February 18th, the Commodity Futures Trading Commission's ("CFTC") Division of Clearing and Risk provided guidance to ASX Clear (Futures) Pty Limited ("ASXCLF") regarding compliance with the condition to the no-action relief granted by the Division on February 6, 2014 that ASXCLF comply with the reporting obligations applicable to registered derivatives clearing organizations under the CFTC's Part 45 regulations. The guidance concerns duplicative reporting. CFTC Letter No. 14-17. See also CFTC Letter No. 14-07.


Regulatory Relief

CFTC Grants Southwest Power Pool's Request for No-Action Relief.

On February 20th, the CFTC's Divisions of Clearing and Risk, Market Oversight, and Swap Dealer and Intermediary Oversight issued a time-limited no-action letter to Southwest Power Pool. The letter, consistent with relief provided in the CFTC's April 2, 2013 final order exempting certain specified transactions of Regional Transmission Organizations and Independent System Operators from certain provisions of the Commodity Exchange Act, provides relief to Southwest Power Pool, its members and those market participants who meet the appropriate persons requirement under the RTO-ISO Order, and permits this market and these market participants to continue to operate while the CFTC considers Southwest Power Pool's petition.


CFTC Grants CPO Relief from Audited Annual Report Requirement.

On February 19th, the CFTC's Division of Swap Dealer and Intermediary Oversight provided a commodity pool operator with relief from the requirement in Regulations 4.7(b)(3) and 4.22(d)(1) that the financial statements in the pool's annual report be audited. At the end of the 2013 fiscal year the pool had just one participant, who also is a controlling principal of the CPO and oversees the daily operations of both the CPO and the pool. DSIO granted the relief conditioned upon the filing of an uncertified annual report for the 2013 fiscal year that otherwise complies with the provisions of Regulation 4.7(b)(3). CFTC Letter No. 14-19.


Other Developments

Speed Bumps.

On February 19th, Bloomberg summarized a proposal presented by a University of Chicago associate professor of economics at the CFTC's February 10, 2014 Technology Advisory Committee meeting. Eric Budish proposes the use of "frequent batch auctions" to ameliorate the negative effects of automated trading. Summary.


Whistleblowers.

On February 19th, Forbes described the CFTC's whistleblower program noting that the agency will make its first Dodd-Frank Act whistleblower award later this year. Whistleblowers.