Agricultural/Financial correspondent
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Dec 17, 2010

Analysis: CFTC speculation limits may pass quietly, unchanged

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – New rules to limit speculation in commodity markets could move forward quickly, and with few alterations, after objections by the measure’s most vocal supporter unexpectedly delayed a key vote.

Gary Gensler, head of the U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission, abruptly postponed a vote on Thursday to open proposed new position limits to public comment, evidence of mounting pressures internally as the agency implements dozens of rules meant to make markets safer and more transparent.

Dec 16, 2010

CFTC takes another shot at swap trading plan

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The chief U.S. derivatives regulator on Thursday proposed a new plan to make trading in the most popular swaps as transparent as stock exchanges, while trying to ensure that requirements for less popular swaps don’t end up killing them.

Dozens of firms, such as IntercontinentalExchange Inc, hope to qualify as swap trading venues as the opaque swaps market is forced onto the public stage as part of the Wall Street financial overhaul mandated by the U.S. Congress.

Dec 16, 2010

CFTC toughens commodity limits, relents on some rules

WASHINGTON, Dec 16 (Reuters) – The U.S. futures regulator
on Thursday set out its most aggressive steps yet to prevent
speculators from distorting commodity markets, but it relented
on several provisions that were fiercely opposed by Wall Street
banks and large commodity traders.

The Commodity Futures Trading Commission’s proposal to set
position limits showed the agency had taken heed of objections
raised since January, when it first put forward a plan to cap
the influx of investor capital that some blamed for driving oil
and grain prices to record highs in 2008.

Dec 16, 2010

CFTC limits commodity traders, eases some rules

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The U.S. futures regulator on Thursday set out its most aggressive steps yet to prevent speculators from distorting commodity markets, but it relented on several provisions that were fiercely opposed by Wall Street banks and large commodity traders.

The Commodity Futures Trading Commission’s proposal to set position limits showed the agency had taken heed of objections raised since January, when it first put forward a plan to cap the influx of investor capital that some blamed for driving oil and grain prices to record highs in 2008.

Dec 14, 2010

CFTC may start out slow and easy on commodity limits

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – U.S. futures regulator will unveil this week a broad framework for controlling speculation in commodity markets but will likely delay imposing detailed limits in the face of industry concerns that trading volumes would dry up.

Capping the number of contracts that a single speculator can hold is part of an almost three-year crusade to prevent another damaging surge in prices. But it has proven to be one of the most challenging parts of the Dodd-Frank U.S. financial reform act for the U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission to implement.

Dec 14, 2010

CFTC may start out slow on commodity limits

WASHINGTON, Dec 14 (Reuters) – U.S. futures regulator will
unveil this week a broad framework for controlling speculation
in commodity markets but will likely delay imposing detailed
limits in the face of industry concerns that trading volumes
would dry up.

Capping the number of contracts that a single speculator
can hold is part of an almost three-year crusade to prevent
another damaging surge in prices. But it has proven to be one
of the most challenging parts of the Dodd-Frank U.S. financial
reform act for the U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission to
implement.

Dec 10, 2010

U.S. firms cry out for relief from swap rules

WASHINGTON, Dec 10 (Reuters) – U.S. companies on Friday
told regulators they should not be forced to set aside funds to
help manage their derivatives as doing so would divert vital
cash needed to grow their operations.

Representatives from firms including Morgan Stanley (MS.N: Quote, Profile, Research),
and Chesapeake Energy (CHK.N: Quote, Profile, Research), said they support new measures
to reduce market risk but margin and capital requirements could
curtail economic growth by curtailing investments in items such
as new oil wells.

Dec 9, 2010

CFTC proposes end user rule, delays swap venue plan

WASHINGTON, Dec 9 (Reuters) – The U.S. futures regulator on
Thursday unveiled a long-awaited rule outlining exemptions for
firms using swaps to hedge risk, but at the last minute
postponed issuing a separate rule with guidelines for swap
trading platforms.

Without much explanation, Gary Gensler, chairman of the
Commodity Futures Trading Commission, said he was delaying
until next week the agency’s proposals to make swap execution
facilities, or SEFs, transparent. The delay further underscores
the tight deadline the agency is under, and different views by
the agency’s five commissioners as to what Congress intended.

Dec 9, 2010

CFTC proposes end user, swap trading platform rules

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The Commodity Futures Trading Commission on Thursday unveiled a pair of long-awaited rules outlining clearing exemptions for firms using swaps to hedge risk, and guidelines for swap trading platforms.

The latest rules are part of the agency’s scramble to comply with the Dodd-Frank bill that increased oversight of the $600 trillion over-the-counter derivatives market. Major players who would be affected are closely watching how the rules are enacted, and the impact on their bottom line.

Dec 8, 2010

CFTC, SEC moving too fast on new rules- trade groups

WASHINGTON, Dec 8 (Reuters) – U.S. regulators are
implementing new rules to increase oversight of financial
markets at such a rapid pace that it places an unfair burden on
market participants and could reduce liquidity and increase
risk, financial trade associations said in a letter.

Eleven groups representing banks, swaps dealers, mutual
funds and others told the U.S. Commodity Futures Trading
Commission and the Securities and Exchange Commission they are
concerned market participants are being asked to do too much in
a short amount of time.

    • About Christopher

      "Currently based in Washington, Christopher reports on agriculture in Congress and the U.S. Agriculture Department. He also is actively involved in covering regulatory reform, with a focus on the U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission."
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