The CFTC has reopened the comment period concerning its position limits rulemaking for 45 days. The comment period was re-opened in conjunction with a meeting of the Agricultural Advisory Committee on December 9th. The proposed regulations would mandate position limits for 28 physical commodities, including certain agricultural and energy products. The position limits would also apply to “economically equivalent” futures, options and swaps based on the physical commodities.
The CFTC originally proposed new rules on position limits in 2011 and finalized them later that year. However, ISDA and SIFMA were successful in a lawsuit that they brought to vacate the CFTC’s position limit rules. In finding for plaintiffs, the Court ruled that the CFTC had failed to make a required finding that position limits were actually necessary before imposing such limits. Following the Court’s ruling, the CFTC re-proposed position limits in November 2013 including a 12-page preliminary finding as to why position limits are necessary. Since re-proposing position limits, the comment period has been re-opened twice, in May 2014 and August 2014, to address aggregation issues and possible exemptions from position limits.