Davis Polk discusses SEC Issuance of Reporting Rules for Security-Based Swaps

On February 11, 2015, the Securities and Exchange Commission issued a final rule (the “Final Rule”) and proposed amendments (the “Proposed Rule”) on the reporting and public dissemination of security-based swap (“SBS”) information, as mandated by the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act.

Notably, the SEC:

  • delayed establishing a final compliance schedule for SBS reporting;
  • left many details of SBS reporting, including many of the required data elements, the format of reports and the assignment of product identifiers for standardized SBS, to registered security-based swap data repositories (“SBSDRs”);
  • created an interim phase for the reporting of SBS information,

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mary jo white

Chair White explains Disqualifications, Exemptions and Waivers Under the Federal Securities Laws

Thank you, Bill, for that very kind introduction.  I am honored to be here.I see that you have an ambitious agenda over the next two days discussing some of the hardest legal challenges companies are facing today.  We at the SEC also have a very ambitious agenda of priorities of interest to you, including completing mandated Dodd-Frank and JOBS Act rulemakings, continuing to optimize our equity and fixed income markets, enhancing our monitoring and oversight of the asset management industry, making further progress on our disclosure effectiveness review, continuing to strengthen our critical exam program, which addresses the areas posing

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PwC discusses Market Making Exemption Under the Volcker Rule

With less than six months to conform to the Volcker Rule’s proprietary trading restrictions, large banks are working quickly to build out their compliance programs. Last summer, they scrambled to build systems to report monthly seven metrics by September 2, 2014, as required by the rule.[1] Now banks’ focus has moved to proving their trading desks’ exemptions from the proprietary trading restriction as part of their compliance programs that must be in place by July 21, 2015.[2]

Among these exemptions, market making is becoming the most predominantly used. However, the desks taking this exemption (“market making desks”) face … Read more

WilmerHale discusses SEC Probe of Corporate Interactions with Whistleblowers

According to a February 25, 2015 Wall Street Journal report, in recent weeks the SEC has sent requests to a number of companies seeking years of nondisclosure agreements, employment contracts and other documents as part of an agency probe into the potential silencing of corporate whistleblowers.[1] The reported probe comes as SEC officials have expressed concerns about “pre-taliation”—the alleged use of express provisions in employment agreements, codes of conduct and severance agreements designed to deter employees from voluntarily communicating with the SEC. Chief of the SEC’s Whistleblower Office, Sean McKessy, has repeatedly warned that the agency’s Enforcement Division is … Read more

Key Speakers At Seminars At The IMF & World Bank Annual Meetings

Chair Yellen discusses Improving the Oversight of Large Financial Institutions

Thank you for the opportunity to speak to you today, it is great to be back in New York. The Citizens Budget Commission has played an important role over the years as a forum to discuss issues of interest to New Yorkers that are often also of national and even global importance. Given New York’s preeminence as a center of global finance, I thought it would be appropriate to discuss just such a topic, which is how the Federal Reserve oversees the largest financial institutions, many of which are headquartered or have a major presence here, and how that oversight … Read more

Wilson Sonsini discusses SEC Proposal Requiring Disclosure of Hedging Policies for Directors, Officers, and Other Employees

On February 9, 2015, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) issued a proposed rule related to the disclosure of hedging policies applicable to board members, officers, and other employees. The proposed rule would implement one of the remaining requirements adopted as part of the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act (Dodd-Frank Act).[1]

The proposed rule would amend Item 407 of Regulation S-K to require companies to disclose whether they permit directors, officers, and other employees to hedge the company’s securities, including any equity securities of the company’s parent, subsidiaries, or any subsidiary of any parent of … Read more

Ilya Beylin Headshot (small)

A Shift in Proposed Margin Regulation May Unleash Restraints on Banks’ Activities

A nuance in margin rules proposed by the CFTC and other federal financial regulators threatens to undermine a carefully struck balance in Dodd-Frank.  As background, Title VII of Dodd-Frank subjected U.S. derivatives markets to a host of new regulations.   Broadly speaking, regulations promulgated by the CFTC under Title VII require that certain types of swaps be centrally cleared through a clearinghouse and a subset of those swaps be executed on a swap execution facility (SEF) or designated contract market (DCM).[1] The clearing mandate helps mitigate credit risk in the derivatives market through interposing the credit … Read more

Commissioner J. Christopher Giancarlo

A Pro-Reform Reconsideration of the CFTC Swaps Trading Rules

The following post is taken from an address by CFTC Commissioner J. Christopher Giancarlo before the ABA Business Law Section, Derivatives & Futures Law Committee Winter Meeting and is dated January 23, 2015.  Commissioner Giancarlo’s address may be accessed here.

Thank you for the kind introduction.

Let me begin with the disclaimer that my remarks today reflect my own views and do not necessarily reflect the views of the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC or Commission), my fellow Commissioners or the CFTC staff.

It is an honor to speak to you today. I see so many truly distinguished members … Read more

Mark Calabria Headshot

The Resolution of Systematically Important Financial Institutions: Lessons from Fannie and Freddie

There was perhaps no issue of greater importance to the financial regulatory reforms of 2010 than the resolution, without taxpayer assistance, of large financial institutions. The rescue of firms such as AIG shocked the public conscience and provided the political force behind the passage of the Dodd-Frank Act. The force is reflected in the fact that Titles I and II of Dodd-Frank relate to the identification and resolution of large financial entities, and Title VIII relates to the resolution of financial market utilities. How the tools established in Titles I, II and VIII are implemented is paramount to the success … Read more

BCG discusses the “Brave New Era” of Comprehensively Regulated Banks

Global banking has entered a new era in which every region, product, and legal entity is going to be closely regulated.

To assess the current status and future effects of regulatory reform, we have classified the entire spectrum of regulatory reforms, grouping them into three clusters: financial stability, prudent operations, and resolution and separation. (See Exhibit 1.)

Screen Shot 2015-01-09 at 2.47.01 PM

Financial Stability: Expectations Exceed Regulators’ Intent

Since the crisis began, establishing and safeguarding global and local financial stability have been regulators’ highest priorities. As a result, financial stability is the most developed area of reform. Fundamental requirements have been revised or reinstated, primarily … Read more

elizabeth.howell

Short Selling Reporting Rules in the EU and the US: A Greenfield Area

The following post comes from Elizabeth Howell, a doctoral student in law at the University of Oxford and a visiting scholar at Columbia Law School in the Fall Semester 2014. It is related to her paper, ‘Short Selling Reporting Rules in the EU and the US: A Greenfield Area’ that is forthcoming in the European Company Law Journal. Further details are available here http://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=2536523.

Short selling reporting obligations can be helpful to regulators, particularly in relation to deterring abusive behavior. Following the recent financial crisis, the European Short Selling Regulation (the ‘Regulation’)[1] introduced a common framework for short … Read more

PwC discusses Ten Key Points from the FDIC’s Resolution Plan Guidance

On December 17th, the FDIC issued guidance for the 2015 resolution plans of the covered insured depository institutions (CIDIs) of large bank holding companies (BHCs). The guidance (applicable to 36 CIDIs) adds welcome clarification around regulatory expectations, but also raises the bar – in some cases quite significantly – on the nature and depth of required plan content.

In addition to the BHC resolution plans required under Dodd Frank Section 165(d) [1], the FDIC requires a separate CIDI resolution plan for US insured depositories with assets of $50 billion or more. Most of the largest, most complex BHCs are subject … Read more

Commissioner Mark Wetjen

Ensuring the Promise of a Centrally Cleared, Global Swaps Market: Next Steps

These remarks were made by Commissioner Mark P. Wetjen before the Futures Industry Association Asia Derivatives Conference

Thank you for that kind introduction, and my thanks as well to the Futures Industry Association for having me here to speak at this year’s Asia Derivatives Conference. I am honored to be with you in Singapore. I want to give a special thanks to my good friend, Walt Lukken, who has shown tremendous leadership in his role at the FIA.

While traveling in Asia this week and meeting with members of the derivatives community, I’ve been struck by both the vastness and … Read more

Sullivan & Cromwell discusses FDIC Final Rule Issued to Align the Deposit Insurance Assessment System with Basel III Capital Rules

On November 18, 2014, the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (the “FDIC”) published a final rule (the “Final Rule”) modifying certain elements of its deposit insurance assessment system for insured depository institutions (“IDIs”).[1] The Final Rule amends the FDIC’s 2011 revised methodology for determining insurance assessment rates both for large institutions and for highly complex institutions (the “2011 Assessments Rule”)[2]—the so-called “scorecard” method that is currently used to calculate assessment rates for these institutions. The Final Rule indicates that it is intended to align the deposit insurance assessment system for all IDIs—including advanced approaches banking organizations—with the standardized approach (the “Standardized … Read more

Morrison & Foerster discusses 2015 ISS and Glass Lewis Proxy Voting Guidance Updates

Proxy research and advice entities Institutional Shareholder Services Inc. (“ISS”) and Glass, Lewis & Co., LLC (“Glass Lewis”) recently updated the guidelines each service will use to inform their voting recommendations for the 2015 proxy season. The updates address topics such as amendments to governing documents, director and executive compensation, board leadership structures, and certain shareholder proposals included in proxy materials. We summarize the most notable updates to these guidelines, below.

ISS

The ISS voting policy updates are relevant to shareholder meetings taking place on or after February 1, 2015. The two principal updates highlighted by ISS relate to ISS’s … Read more

Ballard Spahr discusses Risk Retention Rules

A final credit risk retention rule was recently issued with respect to asset-backed securities (ABS) by the prudential bank regulators (the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System, the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency) and the Securities Exchange Commission, and, with respect to residential mortgage assets only, the Federal Housing Finance Agency and the Department of Housing and Urban Development. The final rule bears little resemblance to the approach originally proposed in April 2011 but is essentially (i.e., with the exception of a few details) identical to the rule as re-proposed in … Read more

Eric Talley

Tax Inversions and Regulatory Competition

The following post comes to us from Eric L. Talley, The Rosalinde and Arthur Gilbert Foundation Professor of Law at the University of California, Berkeley, School of Law. It is based on a recent working paper, “Corporate Inversions and the Unbundling of Regulatory Competition,” which is available here.

Several prominent public corporations have recently embraced a noteworthy (and newsworthy) type of transaction known as a “tax inversion.”  In a typical inversion, a US multinational corporation (MNC) merges with an operating foreign company. The entity that ultimately emerges from this transactional cocoon is invariably incorporated abroad, yet typically remains listed … Read more

Jonathan D. Glater

Hurdles of Different Heights for Securities Fraud Litigants of Different Types

The following post comes to us from Jonathan D. Glater, Assistant Professor of Law at the University of California Irvine School of Law. It is based on his recent paper, “Hurdles of Different Heights for Securities Fraud Litigants of Different Types,” which is available here.

When investors buy securities in a private offering, it is presumed that they have the sophistication and expertise to invest in the absence of the formal disclosure requirements that apply to public offerings. When investors claim to have been victims of fraud, they assert that they have fallen victim to deceit. When investors who purchased … Read more

Debevoise & Plimpton discusses SEC’s Proposed Rule on Security-Based Swap Quotes

On September 8, 2014, the Securities and Exchange Commission (the “SEC”) published a proposed rule (the “Proposed Rule”) providing that certain communications involving quotes of security-based swaps will not be deemed to constitute offers of such security-based swaps or of any guarantees of such security-based swaps that are securities for purposes of the registration requirements applicable to offers or sales of securities under section 5 of the Securities Act of 1933 (the “Securities Act”), if the security-based swaps may be purchased only by eligible contract participants (“ECPs”)[1] and are traded on or processed through a trading system or platform that … Read more

Sullivan & Cromwell discusses Extraterritorial Application of CFTC’s Swap Rules

SUMMARY

On September 16, 2014, the United States District Court for the District of Columbia dismissed a broad-based challenge to the interpretive guidance and policy statement issued by the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (“CFTC”) in July 2013 relating to the extraterritorial application of the CFTC’s swaps rules adopted pursuant to Title VII of the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act (“Dodd-Frank” or “Dodd-Frank Act”). The guidance specifically addressed the circumstances under which certain Dodd-Frank requirements, such as the CFTC’s swap reporting rules, mandatory clearing requirement, trade execution requirement, and swap dealer registration and business conduct requirements, would apply … Read more