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Entries by Robin Powers

Credit Default Swap Market up in Arms

Insight Robin Powers Robin Powers · January 22, 2018
Controversial debt swap has the credit default swap (CDS) market up in arms. The integrity of the CDS could be permanently damaged. “It could destabilize the market for single-name CDS.” Said Robin Powers, Partner at Rimon who specializes in derivatives. Read the full International Financing Review article here. Robin Powers focuses

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Maintaining Your Legal Entity Identifier (LEI) Just Got More Invasive

Insight Robin Powers Robin Powers · James Ballard James Ballard · July 17, 2017
Global Market Entity Identifier Utility (GMEI), an LEI issuer, is now requesting information relating to the parents of its registered entities.  The past information collected on an LEI entity, which consisted of self-identifying information, is known as “Level 1 Data.”  The additional information now being requested is

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Post-trade Challenges in OTC Derivatives Clearing

Event
Oct 02, 2015

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DerivSource is hosting a two-part series on OTC Derivatives Central Clearing to explore both pre-trade and post-trade challenges in derivatives clearing. Following our Feb 8th webinar, we will host a webinar on "Post-trade Challenges in Derivatives Clearing" on Feb 16th. You can register now for the event on the 16th of Feb. Speakers will

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Pre-Trade Challenges in Central Clearing of OTC Derivatives

Event
Oct 02, 2015

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In a roundtable discussion, DerivSource Forum participants will explore the operational, technological, legal and practical implications of each pre-trade challenge to give the audience greater insight into their multi-facets. This newly established forum group will also share how different financial institutions are addressing these challenges today as

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ISDA 2014 Derivatives Definitions Protocol

Insight Robin Powers Robin Powers · September 04, 2014
On August 21, the International Swaps and Derivatives Association (ISDA) published the ISDA 2014 Credit Derivatives Definitions Protocol (the "Protocol"). The deadline for adhering to the Protocol is September 12, 2014 and the Protocol will become effective between adhering parties on September 22, 2014. The Protocol will apply to

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Rimon’s Robin Powers featured in the Spring 2014 issue of Perspectives Magazine, the American Bar Association’s publication for and about women lawyers

News Robin Powers Robin Powers · June 15, 2014
The article, titled “Women Seize Opportunities in Male-Dominated Finance World,” focuses on the top female attorneys practicing in the world of corporate finance, including the recent female heads of the Securities & Exchange Commission (SEC) and the Commodities Futures Trading Commission (CFTC). Ms. Powers, a Rimon Partner in New

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Rimon Partner Robin Powers Featured as Female Powerbroker by Law360

News Robin Powers Robin Powers · April 14, 2014
Law360 interviewed Robin Powers about her experiences as a female powerbroker with more than 18 years of experience working with hedge funds, private equity funds, family offices, and universities and endowments with respect to their financial transactions, prime brokerage relationships, leveraged finance and derivatives activity. Ms. Powers

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Hedge Fund Advertising Law- Fundamentals and New Developments: CLE Video

Insight Mark Diamond Mark Diamond · January 20, 2014

On July 10, the SEC adopted a new rule lifting the ban on general solicitations and advertising for broker-dealers and for hedge fund and private equity fund offerings. This is a significant change from existing law and allows a fund to make its website more accessible to the public, to use social media, and to speak freely at conferences and seminars as well as to the press.

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Are You Ready for EMIR Reporting?

Insight Robin Powers Robin Powers · January 17, 2014

Mandatory trade reporting under EMIR is scheduled to begin on February 12th, 2014. ISDA and the FOA have published the "EMIR Reporting Delegation Agreement" (the "Delegation Agreement") which provides the OTC Derivatives market industry with a tool to document delegated reporting arrangements.

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How will a U.S. default impact the Credit Default Swap Market?  ISDA responds…

Insight Robin Powers Robin Powers · October 10, 2013

How will a U.S. default impact the Credit Default Swap Market?  ISDA responds...

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CLE Webinar - Recent Developments in Derivatives Regulation

Insight Robin Powers Robin Powers · September 23, 2013

Video from Robin Powers' CLE webinar on the new regulations governing the use of OTC derivatives in the United States and Europe from September 11, 2013. The different requirements will create new and possibly overlapping compliance obligations for end users who engage in derivatives/ hedging activities in the US and abroad.  For many end users, this requires an understanding of the obligations created by Title VII of the Dodd-Frank Act, the European Market Infrastructure Regulation (EMIR) and the application of each to cross border transactions.  The webinar covers the key compliance obligations for end users under Dodd-Frank and EMIR and the application of Dodd-Frank and EMIR to cross border transactions.

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Guidelines for “Third Country Entities” to Comply with European Market Infrastructure Regulation

Insight Robin Powers Robin Powers · September 15, 2013

In order to help market participants establish the procedures required by EMIR, ISDA has released the ISDA 2013 EMIR Portfolio Reconciliation, Dispute Resolution and Disclosure Protocol (the “EMIR Protocol”).  But adhering is not the only way to ensure that you will be able to trade with EU financial entities as of the coming deadline.

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CLE Webinar - Recent Developments in OTC Derivatives Regulation in US and Europe

Event
Sep 11, 2013 11:00AM - 12:00PM PST

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On September 11th, Rimon's Robin Powers will present a CLE webinar on the new regulations governing the use of OTC derivatives in the United States and Europe. The different requirements will create new and possibly overlapping compliance obligations for end users who engage in derivatives/ hedging activities in the US and abroad.  For many

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The Three Regulatory Changes Addressed by Dodd-Frank Protocol 2.0

Insight Robin Powers Robin Powers · May 22, 2013

ISDA DODD-FRANK PROTOCOL 2.0

DF Protocol 2.0 (or the March DF Protocol) is intended to address the requirements of three rules finalized in the latter half of 2012, too late to be covered by the August DF Protocol. More specifically, DF Protocol 2.0 addresses (a) the end-user exceptionto the clearing requirement for swaps; (b) the clearing requirement determinationthat mandates clearing for certain classes of interest rate swaps and credit default swaps; and (c) the rule entitled “Confirmation, Portfolio Reconciliation, Portfolio Compression, and Swap Trading Relationship Documentation Requirements for Swap Dealers and Major Swap Participants.”

The structure of, and adherence process for, DF Protocol 2.0 is similar to that of the August DF Protocol. Adhering parties must complete and deliver to each of their counterparties a Protocol Questionnaire, which, among other things, provides certain identifying and contact information, identifies whether the adhering party falls into certain regulatory categories established in the Commodity Exchange Act (CEA) and in Commodity and Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) regulations, and specifies whether the adhering party wishes to avail itself of certain exceptions or exemptions from the applicable CFTC rules. DF Protocol 2.0 is independent of the August DF Protocol. Adherence to the August DF Protocol does not imply or require adherence to DF Protocol 2.0 (and vice versa). 

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CFTC Issues a ‘No Action’ Letter that Exempts FX Prime Brokers from Certain Aspects of Dodd-Frank

Insight Robin Powers Robin Powers · May 01, 2013

The Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) has issued a time limited ‘No Action’ letter that exempts Prime Brokers from certain aspects of Dodd-Frank rules.

There had been widespread concern that Prime Brokers would be required to comply with the obligation to disclosure of the mid-market mark.

The CFTC No Action letter recognized that the prime broker would merely be reporting “mirror” trades that were not initiated by a market participant, but rather part of the process of the “give up” between executing dealer and prime brokerage customer.

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Current List of Provisionally Registered Swap Dealers as of April 1, 2013

Insight Robin Powers Robin Powers · April 24, 2013

A list of provisionally registered swap dealers is listed below. This list is current as of April 1, 2013.

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Is Your Swap Counterparty on This List to Register as Swap-dealers Under Dodd-Frank?

Insight Robin Powers Robin Powers · March 01, 2013

The following banks/dealers are the first to register as swap-dealers under the Dodd-Frank Act, which requires higher capital, collateral and trading standards.  The list, which is expected to grow, reflects companies that had at least $8 billion in swap-dealing business in October and had to register by the end of last year.

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Mandatory Clearing of OTC Derivatives

Insight Robin Powers Robin Powers · January 31, 2013

Mandatory clearing will be phased in over the first three quarters of 2013.

Market participants trading certain interest rate and credit default swaps will be required to comply by March 11, 2013. Regulated entities such as swap dealers and major swap participants must comply in this first phase; buy side firms that meet the definition of “active fund”  could also be impacted in this phase.  “Active funds,” are defined by the CFTC as private funds executing on average 200 or more swaps per month over the preceding 12 months.

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Commodity Futures Trading Commission Extends Compliance Date for Dodd-Frank Protocol

Insight Robin Powers Robin Powers · December 19, 2012

Commodity Futures Trading Commission Extends Compliance Date for Dodd-Frank Protocol to May 1, 2013 in Order to Give Market Participants Additional Time to Adhere. Buy side market participants received a holiday gift from the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (“CFTC”) - compliance deadlines for the business conduct and documentation rules (the “Business Conduct Rules“) related to the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act (“Dodd-Frank”), have now been delayed until May 1, 2013. These Business Conduct Rules have been obliging end users to enter into the ISDA August 2012 DF Protocol or otherwise amend their swap documents by the end of the year.

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ISDA March 2012 Supplement and Protocol

Insight Robin Powers Robin Powers · March 30, 2012

ISDA has announced the launch of the 2012 US Municipal Reference Entity CDS Protocol.  The purpose of the Protocol is to make similar changes to US Municipal CDS transactions (“Muni CDS”) as were made to corporate and sovereign CDS by the 2009 ISDA Credit Derivatives Determinations Committees and Auction Settlement CDS Protocol. The Protocol is open for adherence and closes at 5pm New York time on Monday April 2, 2012.

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Repercussions of the S&P U.S. Credit Rating Downgrade for OTC Market Participants

Insight Robin Powers Robin Powers · August 11, 2011

On August 5, Standard & Poor’s (S&P) announced that it downgraded the United States to a AA+ rating from its longstanding AAA status. The immediate effects of S&P's downgrade are likely to be modest, largely because it was expected and at least partly discounted in advance. But for participants in the derivatives markets, the downgrade is another source of potential stress on top of the unknowns under Dodd-Frank.

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Dodd-Frank: Highlights & Implications

Insight Robin Powers Robin Powers · August 02, 2011

When Dodd-Frank was signed into law on July 21, 2010, it was the just the beginning of a very long process.  The Act came in at over 2,000 pages, but left the majority of the work - roughly 400 rules or studies - to 30 different federal agencies. Only 49 of the mandated rules have been finalized, and the deadline has passed for finalizing another 131.  An additional 200 rules have deadlines approaching. On Tuesday, the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) unanimously approved three new derivatives rules, bringing the number of final rules it is required to implement under Dodd-Frank law to 10, out of over 50 proposed rules assigned to that agency.

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Dodd-Frank 30 Day Countdown: Dodd-Frank is here

Insight Robin Powers Robin Powers · July 16, 2011

July 16 has Arrived…

And the world hasn’t ended.

More importantly, the financial sector hasn’t gone into a state of meltdown.  While we will continue to watch as rules are debated, agency heads speak before Congress, and press releases are circulated, it is important to note that the implications of Dodd-Frank’s July 16 deadline had a stronger bark than bite.

Despite all of the headlines that the SEC and CFTC have generated as a result of their delays, it is comforting to know that these agencies are not hastily creating rules solely to adhere to the July 16 deadline.  While they still have a large workload ahead of them drafting rules dictated by the Act, they appear to be working at a swifter pace then what is typically seen by most government agencies. 

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Dodd-Frank 30 Day Countdown: Day 1

Insight Robin Powers Robin Powers · July 15, 2011

Japan’s Financial Instruments and Exchange Law (FIEL)

Japan’s corollary to Title VII of Dodd-Frank is the Financial Instruments and Exchange Law (FIEL), which went into effect in 2008.  While the laws are similar, they are by no means identical. The Japanese law remains silent on topics that Dodd-Frank addresses thoroughly. Most notable among these topics are provisions regarding derivative clearing organizations (DCO’s) and clearing counterparties (CCP’s). Whereas Dodd-Frank provides a framework for how DCO’s and CCP’s must be organized, maintained, funded, and accounted for, FIEL does not give any specific guidance on CCP business continuity, outsourcing, or price transparency. Dodd-Frank imposes across-the-board capital requirements intended to minimize risk in the event of a major default and ensure the business’ functionality for at least a year. In contrast, FIEL’s minimum capital requirement for CCP’s is on a case-by-case basis. Dodd-Frank also implements collateral requirements with the purpose of reducing risk to non-defaulting members in the event that a major member becomes insolvent or defaults.

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Dodd-Frank 30 Day Countdown: Day 2

Insight Robin Powers Robin Powers · July 14, 2011

Swaps Experts Say Market Will Grow; Others Differ in Opinion

As the swaps market braces for Dodd-Frank impact, firms and investors differ on the anticipated changes in the newly regulated market.

Citigroup, Inc. recently released a white paper predicting that interest rate and credit default swaps will grow more than 10% by 2013 as trading risk will decrease and price transparency will increase under Dodd-Frank. Citigroup also stated that Clearinghouse increased requirements for margin will likely cause market participants to avoid marginally profitable investments. They estimate that 60% of OTC derivatives market by volume will soon be centrally cleared.

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Dodd-Frank 30 Day Countdown: Day 3

Insight Robin Powers Robin Powers · July 13, 2011

ISDA Calls for Coordination Amongst Global Regulators

The International Swaps and Derivatives Association (ISDA) recently announced their position that Global regulators need to first coordinate new rules for trade repositories before drafting more complex derivatives rules. The ISDA feels that G20 agreed upon reforms must be enacted prior to other rules so that there is consistency amongst market participants.

http://www.gfsnews.com/article/2373/1/Isda_wants_US_slowdown_on_swap_rules

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Dodd-Frank 30 Day Countdown: Day 4

Insight Robin Powers Robin Powers · July 12, 2011

CFTC Increases Policing Power under Dodd-Frank

The Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) has finalized a set of five “anti-manipulation” rules with respect to Title VII of Dodd-Frank requirements. 

The CFTC voted unanimously to expand the government’s ability to police potential fraud and insider trading with respect to derivatives. The CFTC established that a regulator need only show that a trader acted recklessly, as opposed to the previous standard of proving that the trader intentionally manipulated the market and created artificial prices. Scott O’Malia, CFTC Commissioner, stated that this anti-manipulation rule may confuse market participants until the agency is able to clarify how it will be used.   It still remains to be seen how the CFTC will prosecute these instances of fraud and manipulation, but CFTC Chairman Gensler said this rule, “closes a significant gap as it will broaden the types of cases we will pursue and improve the chance of prevailing over wrongdoers.”

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Dodd-Frank 30 Day Countdown: Day 5

Insight Robin Powers Robin Powers · July 11, 2011

Banks Ask for Margin Relief

The largest U.S. banks via a joint letter on June 29, 2011 asked the Commodities Futures Trade Commission (CFTC) to remove the requirement that overseas swap transactions be subject to margin requirements, regardless of whether the swap counterparty is an affiliate of a U.S. organization. This follows on the coattails of a letter written by seven large foreign financial firms in January who asked that their margin requirements be based on their home country regulation.

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Dodd-Frank 30 Day Countdown: Day 6

Insight Robin Powers Robin Powers · July 10, 2011

NYSE sees Growth in Derivatives in June

Uncertainty reigns in the derivatives market as regulators on either side of the Atlantic debate upcoming risk managements regulations, but this has hardly slowed the growth of the industry.

http://derivative-news.fincad.com/derivatives-news/nyse-sees-growth-in-derivatives-in-june-1274/

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Dodd-Frank 30 Day Countdown: Day 7

Insight Robin Powers Robin Powers · July 09, 2011

Britain and EU Differ over Derivatives Reform Rules

Last Monday, July 4, the EU announced that it won’t be prepared to make any decisions regarding derivatives regulation before September.

The European Market Infrastructure Regulation (EMIR) has hit a road block as a result of the inability of the European states to reach compromise on which types of derivatives should be cleared. The U.K. is in favor of a law requiring that all derivatives be cleared to mirror the requirements imposed by Dodd-Frank, while other EU states, and specifically the EU Parliament, have opined that legislation should only include off-exchange derivatives. 

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Dodd-Frank 30 Day Countdown: Day 8

Insight Robin Powers Robin Powers · July 08, 2011

SEC and CFTC Differ in their Approach to Temporary Relief

Title VII of the Dodd-Frank Act gives authority to the Securities Exchange Commission (SEC) to regulate security-based swaps, while the Commodities Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) will generally be responsible for swaps markets.  Both the SEC and CFTC have recently announced temporary relief will be available for some of the provisions under Title VII that are scheduled to go into effect July 16, 2011, though the agencies are not working in unison to create a comprehensive relief order for market participants.

The CFTC has categorized their relief order into four sections, ranging from those provisions that will automatically go into effect July 16, to those that cannot go into effect until express rule-making comes from the CFTC. The CTFC Order will expire December 31, 2011, absent further action from the CFTC.

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Dodd-Frank 30 Day Countdown: Day 9

Insight Robin Powers Robin Powers · July 07, 2011

Firms Oppose FDIC Claw Back Provision

On Wednesday (July 6, 2011), the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. (FDIC) voted on a rule allowing the government to recover payments from both senior executives and directors who the FDIC determines to be “substantially responsible” for a financial firm’s failure. This rule, known as the “claw back provision,” is one of a many rules that the FDIC is responsible for drafting and implementing with respect to its new “post Dodd-Frank” liquidation powers.  Dodd-Frank positioned the FDIC as supervisor over these firms and gave the FDIC authority to dismantle any large “too big to fail” institution before the need for government bailouts arises.

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Dodd-Frank 30 Day Countdown: Day 10

Insight Robin Powers Robin Powers · July 06, 2011

Dodd-Frank’s Impact on Private Equity Firms - Limited Private Fund Exemption

For hedge funds and private equity firms, anxiety over the new regulations brought by Dodd-Frank pivots on Title VII and a simple dilemma: new paperwork to be done and no one to do it. However, there is a loophole.

Dodd-Frank expands the requirements on US hedge funds and private equity firms to report directly to the Securities Exchange Commission (SEC). While over 3,000 private-fund advisors are already registered with the SEC, regulators anticipate that approximately 1,000 funds with be added to the SEC’s registry, nearly half of which will include large hedge funds and big private equity firms.   Dodd-Frank not only extends the requirement on who must report, it also increases the amount of information that must be provided to regulators. Among the many additions, larger funds will now be mandated to report their total borrowings, the net asset value of every private fund, as well as monthly and quarterly performance.

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Dodd-Frank 30 Day Countdown: Day 11

Insight Robin Powers Robin Powers · July 05, 2011

Will SEC, CFTC Budget Cuts Impede Dodd-Frank?

It was not shocking to hear that both the SEC and the CFTC would have to extend their rulemaking deadlines, as their newly found responsibilities stemming from Dodd-Frank are certainly burdensome. It would have been nearly impossible for both agencies to cooperatively define key terms relating to the OTC derivatives market on top of creating hundreds of new rules in such a short time. Though the SEC and CFTC have both granted themselves extensions, many involved in the financial markets remain skeptical that either agency can accomplish their goals in time to meet even the extended deadline.

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Dodd-Frank 30 Day Countdown: Day 12

Insight Robin Powers Robin Powers · July 04, 2011

Fireworks over Dodd-Frank

As the United States celebrates her birthday amidst the financial reform that is Dodd-Frank, many people both at home and abroad are unhappy with the legislation and its potential repercussions.

http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2011-06-27/fed-s-hoenig-sees-economic-danger-in-big-financial-companies.html

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/06/28/dodd-frank-fail-hoenig_n_885900.html

http://www.efinancialnews.com/story/2011-06-29/amf-jouyet-dodd-frank-emir-europe-us?mod=sectionheadlines-IB-AM

http://www.cnbc.com/id/43318967/Geithner_Triggers_Asian_Backlash_on_Regulation

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Dodd-Frank 30 Day Countdown: Day 13

Insight Robin Powers Robin Powers · July 03, 2011

SEC Re-defines Family Office

With the enactment of Dodd-Frank comes the end of the exemption historically granted to family offices under the Investment Advisers Act of 1940.  In the past, investors with fewer than 15 clients could take advantage of the Act’s “private adviser exemption.”  But with Dodd-Frank eliminating this exclusion, family offices are no longer immune from registering with the SEC. 

As part of its rulemaking responsibilities, the SEC recently voted on a definition of “family office” in order to help investment advisers determine if they fall under the SEC’s jurisdiction. According to the SEC, “‘family offices’ are entities established by wealthy families to manage their wealth and provide other services to family members, such as tax and estate planning services.”  Any family office that provides advice solely to family members not more than 10 generations removed from a common ancestor (as well as spouses, key employees, charities and trusts),  is owned and controlled by family members, and does not hold itself out to the public as an investment adviser, is exempt from registering under the Investment Adviser’s Act. 

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Dodd-Frank 30 Day Countdown: Day 14

Insight Robin Powers Robin Powers · July 02, 2011

SEC Finalizes Whistleblowing Rules

With all the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has on its plate, one may wonder why the whistleblower provisions of the Dodd-Frank Act were one of the first to be finalized. These provisions will become effective August 12, 2011.

The whistleblower provisions are perhaps the most interesting aspect of the Dodd-Frank legislation.  Under the new rules, if a whistleblower is aware of a violation of a securities law, and reports original information to the SEC prior to any information requests by the agency, and the information provided results in monetary sanctions over $1 million, the whistleblower is rewarded. 

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Dodd-Frank 30 Day Countdown: Day 15

Insight Robin Powers Robin Powers · July 01, 2011

Definition of “Commodity Pool” Expanded July 16

The CFTC is proposing to grant temporary relief from certain provisions of Dodd-Frank that will delay the requirement that a person register as a commodity trading advisor (“CTA”), for those persons whose  advice regarding commodity interests involves swaps, or commodity pool operator (“CPO”), for those persons who operate collective investment vehicles whose commodity interest investments include swaps.

Prior to Dodd-Frank, a “commodity pool” was defined as a fund in which a group of investors would combine their resources in order to trade futures and commodities. The expanded definition under Dodd-Frank (set to come into effect automatically on July 16), will encompass any investment vehicle that trades non-security based swaps. This means that after July 16, any pooled investment vehicle that invests in commodities derivatives, interest rate derivates, and most currency derivatives (just to name a few), will be considered a “commodity pool.”

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Dodd-Frank 30 Day Countdown: Day 16

Insight Robin Powers Robin Powers · June 30, 2011

Brazil and Argentina lead South America in Derivatives Regulation

In the midst of the sweeping global financial reform, U.S. regulators could look to Brazil for some guidance on the derivatives market. The Brazilian monetary authorities regulate and supervise the financial sector tightly and have always adopted a very restrictive approach in the derivatives market.   Brazil has operated under strict regulation since 1994 when OTC derivatives were first required to be registered with trade repositories. The country has one central clearing house in which all listed derivatives, as well as some OTC derivatives, are cleared. All OTC derivatives that have not been cleared through the clearing house must be reported to a local data repository so that swaps may be monitored by regulators for excessive market risk. After the global financial crisis of 2007, Brazil undertook additional prudential initiatives to monitor and control the risks assumed by Brazilian participants in derivatives transactions.

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Dodd-Frank 30 Day Countdown: Day 17

Insight Robin Powers Robin Powers · June 29, 2011

Smaller Funds May Have Trouble Finding Clearing Member

Though uncertainty may seem to be the one definite aspect of the regulations outlined in Title VII of the Dodd-Frank Act, experts warn that hedge funds should proactively select and secure a clearing member to handle their OTC derivative transactions. Many of the larger funds have reportedly made such arrangements, but smaller hedge funds may be procrastinating in order to conserve legal and operations budgets.  As a result, clearing members, currently inundated with their own regulatory implementation projects, may not have the capacity to make these smaller funds a priority.  These funds may find themselves unable to trade when the full force of Dodd-Frank comes in effect.

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Dodd-Frank 30 Day Countdown: Day 18

Insight Robin Powers Robin Powers · June 28, 2011

India and U.S. Discuss Financial Reform 

U.S. Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner held meetings in Washington yesterday and today with India’s Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee in the second round of Economic Partnership talks between the two countries. During these meeting, Geithner, Mukherjee, and other attendees discussed some of the “financial sector reforms,” in an effort to bridge the economies of two large nations and work toward a consistent (if not uniform) approach to regulation.  "Our interests are pretty complementary as a whole," Geithner explained.

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Dodd-Frank 30 Day Countdown: Day 19

Insight Robin Powers Robin Powers · June 27, 2011

Asia On Par with U.S. OTC Derivative Reform

As previously reported (on Day 25 of this countdown), Mary Schapiro, SEC Chairperson testified before the House Financial Services Committee on June 16, 2011 regarding "Financial Regulatory Reform: The International Context."  In her remarks, Schapiro noted that the G20 agreement contemplates that every G20 country will have completed the legislation, rulemaking and implementation of these reforms by the 2012 deadline.   She pointed out that while progress is being made internationally, only Japan has enacted OTC derivatives reform legislation since the September 2009 G20 Communiqué, and its legislation only covers clearing and reporting, not mandatory trading.

Japan is relatively advanced in this regard with regulation requiring many domestic OTC derivatives to be cleared, a trend which is happening generally in Asia more quickly than in the U.S. or in Europe.  In addition to central clearing requirements, Japan significantly reinforced OTC derivatives regulation in April of this year.  The government amended the regulations under the Financial Instruments and Exchange Act (FIEA) and tightened the rules relating to the marketing of derivatives transactions and structured products by the financial services sector.

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Dodd-Frank 30 Day Countdown: Day 20

Insight Robin Powers Robin Powers · June 26, 2011

Australia Contemplates New (but Limited) Derivative Market Reforms

Australia is moving closer to fulfilling its G20 pledge to decrease systemic risk in the OTC derivatives market by implementing national regulation. Last week, Australia's Council of Financial Regulators (the Council) released a discussion paper about what those regulations may look like.

While the Australian OTC market is significant, with more than US$100 billion traded daily, it is a small piece of the estimated US$600 trillion worldwide OTC derivative market.  Accordingly, the Council suggested that Australia should take a more judicious approach than its U.S. colleagues did with Dodd-Frank.  The Council explained that, “In practice, the only OTC derivatives products traded in the Australian market that might currently meet the tests of systemic risk reduction, clearing viability and global harmonization, are interest rate derivatives and some foreign exchange derivatives, namely forex options.”  The Council concluded that “it is likely that there would be some scope for central clearing of at least some of this activity.”

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Dodd-Frank 30 Day Countdown: Day 21

Insight Robin Powers Robin Powers · June 25, 2011

Federal Reserve Board Aids in Implementing Title VII

The Federal Reserve Board is taking seriously its share of responsibility under the Dodd-Frank Act. Michael Gibson, the Senior Associate Director of the Division of Research and Statistics on the Federal Reserve Board spoke before members of Congress last week (June 15, 2011) to communicate the Board’s views on implementing Title VII.

Gibson began his speech by stating that the Board has gathered its most qualified members across the Federal Reserve System and has enacted a system to comment on the proposed rules sent down by the various commissions (SEC and CFTC). The Board has also been facilitating the efforts across the G20 countries so that a comprehensive global system for trading OTC derivatives will allow fair competition among markets. Members of the Board also help facilitate among those working on the Basel III legislation in the U.K. 

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Dodd-Frank 30 Day Countdown: Day 22

Insight Robin Powers Robin Powers · June 24, 2011

Canadian Entities Aim for OTC Derivatives Regulation

Though Canada represented only $9 trillion of the $600 trillion OTC derivatives market last year, Canadian investors were not exempt from the fury of the recent market meltdown. In 2007, Canadian investors involved in the asset-backed commercial paper market suffered losses of $35 billion. But, losses notwithstanding, our northerly neighbors have only recently begun to discuss their intentions with respect to regulating the OTC derivatives market.

Yesterday, Canada’s securities commissions issued a proposal to require that OTC derivative transactions be reported through trade repositories that meet international standards.  Kevin Fine, the director of the derivatives branch at the Ontario Securities Commission (OSC), said trade repositories were the first target of the securities regulators because they will do the most to expose market risk and irregularities.

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Dodd-Frank 30 Day Countdown: Day 23

Insight Robin Powers Robin Powers · June 23, 2011

SEC Provides Guidance and Temporary Relief Regarding Security-Based Swap Provisions of Dodd-Frank Act

The SEC today issued guidance as to whichTitle VII requirements will apply to security-based swap transactions when Dodd-Frank goes into effect.   It also granted temporary relief to market participants from compliance with most of the new Exchange Act requirements that would otherwise apply on July 16th.

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Dodd-Frank 30 Day Countdown: Day 24

Insight Robin Powers Robin Powers · June 22, 2011

The Status of Regulation in the European Union

With Dodd-Frank taking effect in less than a month, officials on both sides of the Atlantic have been pressuring one another to implement stricter financial regulations, while equivocating on the regulations that they are willing to accept at home.  Michel Barnier, European Commissioner for Internal Market and Services recently explained to well-known think tank the Brookings Institute that the E.U.’s failure to adopt measures similar to Dodd-Frank stemmed from a belief that the U.S. will not follow through on implementing stricter financial regulations. Barnier stated, “you will understand that Europe cannot be naïve.  And will not be naïve.  Equality and reciprocity are not only justified.  They are also necessary.”

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Dodd-Frank 30 Day Countdown: Day 25

Insight Robin Powers Robin Powers · June 21, 2011

Testimony by Mary Schapiro on Financial Regulatory Reform: The International Context

In testimony before the House Financial Services Committee, SEC Chair Mary Schapiro noted that the US regulators have consulted, and will continue to consult with, international securities regulators that are considering OTC derivatives market reforms.  Schapiro explained that because the OTC derivative marketplace already exists as a functioning global market with limited oversight or regulation, international coordination is needed to limit opportunities for cross-border regulatory arbitrage and competitive disadvantages, and to address unnecessarily duplicative and conflicting regulations. The overall goal is to reduce systemic risks, increase transparency, and improve the integrity of the OTC derivatives marketplace, while mindful of the potential effects on efficiency and liquidity.

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Dodd-Frank 30 Day Countdown: Day 26

Insight Robin Powers Robin Powers · June 20, 2011

Investment Advisor Registration Deadline Causing Confusion

In the Private Fund Investment Advisers Registration Act of 2010, Congress adopted changes to the Investment Advisers Act of 1940 to require many more managers of hedge funds or private equity funds to register as investment advisers. Registered advisers are expected to update their books and records practices in order to comply with the new requirements, and may also need to alter their asset valuation and asset custody practices.  Some advisers will likely hire additional compliance staff in order to meet the Dodd-Frank requirements.

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Dodd-Frank 30 Day Countdown: Day 27

Insight Robin Powers Robin Powers · June 19, 2011

SEC to provide guidance on Dodd-Frank requirements and extend temporary rules under the Exchange Act.

As previously noted, the Securities Exchange Commission granted itself an extension to finalize the rules mandated by Dodd-Frank.   The Commission announced that it will shortly clarify which provisions of Title VII will automatically go into effect on July 16, alter some of the requirements for those automatic provisions and provide temporary relief from other provisions, if necessary. The Commission also plans to extend temporary rules under the Securities Act, the Exchange Act, and the Trust Indenture Act. The SEC stated its hope that these actions will support the flow of credit default swaps into the clearing houses during the extension period.

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Dodd Frank 30 Day Countdown: Day 28

Insight Robin Powers Robin Powers · June 18, 2011

FIA and ISDA Publishes Documentation for Cleared Swaps in an effort to add structure to OTC market pending full implementation of Dodd-Frank Act and similar regulation in foreign jurisdictions.

In anticipation of the clearing requirements in Dodd-Frank, each of the major clearing houses published proprietary agreements with the intent to best fit OTC swaps clearing into its portfolio of offerings.  However, with multiple clearing houses each with its own required documentation, OTC market participants were undoubtedly spending considerable time and money understanding and negotiating on many fronts.

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Dodd-Frank 30 Day Countdown: Day 29

Insight Robin Powers Robin Powers · June 17, 2011

Concerns Facing the OTC Derivatives Market in the Absence of a Workable Regulatory Structure

The delay of Title VII rulemaking in the Dodd-Frank Act, arguably one of the largest pieces of financial legislation to come out of Congress since the Great Depression, is concerning to those involved in all aspects of the OTC market. On July 16, specific provisions of Title VII including Sections 721 (definitions), 723 (clearing requirements), 731 (registration/requirements for swap dealers), 763 (Amendments to Securities and Exchange Act of 1934), and 764 (registration/regulation requirements for security-based swap dealers) will automatically come into effect.

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Dodd-Frank 30 Day Countdown: Day 30

Insight Robin Powers Robin Powers · June 16, 2011

A Dodd-Frank Overview

According to the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), “Title VII of the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act (Dodd-Frank) addresses the gap in U.S. financial regulation of OTC swaps by providing a comprehensive framework for the regulation of the OTC swaps markets.” Dodd-Frank goes into effect July 16, 2011 (360 days after it was passed), with the SEC and the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) promulgating and implementing the supporting rules and regulations.

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Exploring Title VII of the Dodd-Frank Act & the Impact on Margin Posed by End Users

Insight Robin Powers Robin Powers · March 18, 2011

The Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) and the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) continue to issue regulations implementing the OTC derivatives provisions of the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act (Dodd-Frank).  In a Q&A, Robin Powers of the Rimon Law Group discusses Title VII of Dodd-Frank and its impact on margin/collateral posed by End-Users. 

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