SEFCON V: CFTC Chairman Massad Discusses Regulations; Extends Package Relief
In his speech at the SEFCON V Conference, CFTC Chairman Timothy Massad outlined the current and future state of affairs regarding swaps trading on regulated platforms. Massad conveyed a pro-markets sentiment in his remarks, continually emphasizing that regulations are not designed to quell the growth of swaps trading, rather they’re aimed at allowing the industry to flourish in a safe, efficient, technologically advanced manner.
After describing broad principles for regulation and noting that swap trading regulation was still in its infancy, he explained he does not want regulation to pose an undue burden on market participants:
“In regard to oversight, we want to make sure it is strong oversight because it promotes integrity and therefore confidence by participants. At the same time, we do not want that oversight to burden participants, particularly the users of these markets, unnecessarily. This is consistent with our general regulatory approach in futures.”
He went on to address specific marketplace concerns about package trades:
“…Packages have been an area of concern. Now, packages might more accurately be thought of as strategies involving multiple products, but whatever name you use, there is no doubt that different types of packages introduce significant complexities as we look to bring them into the SEF and DCM framework. And therefore, basically since the time of the first MAT determinations earlier this year, we have been working with market participants to figure out how to deal with packages in which one leg is a MAT swap. To enable that process, we issued no-action relief earlier this year. For some types of packages, the market has developed technical solutions, and the relief has expired. For others, however, more time is needed.
Consequently, at my direction, the CFTC staff this week have extended previously issued no-action relief so that we continue to work with market participants on phasing in trading for certain types of packages.”
Massad noted that there is a wide range of opinion regarding execution methods and market structure, and stated that “We look forward to listening to market participants on these and other issues that may arise.”
He also addressed cross-border issues, explaining that the CFTC is “committed to harmonizing our rules as much as possible” with its foreign counterparts in Europe and Asia so that firms are limited in their ability to shop for preferred regulatory framework.
To view Chairman Massad’s full remarks, please click here.