CFTC's Gensler introduces New Era of Swaps Market Reform

Details of Implementation

As October 12 means a new era for the swaps marketplace, bringing it more into the public light, the natural order of things is that market participants will seek guidance.  As we’ve moved from congressional legislation to agency rulemaking -- and now to market implementation, such questions and requests are a normal part of the process.  The fine tuning that results is expected.

We welcome inquiries from market participants.  My fellow commissioners and I, along with the CFTC staff, are all committed to sorting through issues as they arise.

Throughout the rule writing and now the implementation process, the CFTC has been working with market participants to provide guidance.  For example, we issued a guidebook on the large-trader reporting rule with detailed instructions for submitting reports to the Commission.

The CFTC also has worked to appropriately phase in compliance.  We reached out broadly on the topic of appropriate timing for various market participants to comply with reforms.  We put out a concepts document guide for commenters, held a two-day public roundtable with the SEC, and proposed rules on implementation phasing.  The Commission has included phased compliance schedules within many of our rules, including data, real-time reporting and the recent guidance on cross-border application of swaps market reform.

We continue to want to hear from market participants on any timing or phasing issues that may arise.

Benchmark Interest Rates

Before I close, I’d like to turn to the international work being done on benchmark interest rates, such as LIBOR. 

As a market regulator, the CFTC’s mission is to ensure that markets are free of fraud, manipulation, false reporting and other abuses, which is why the CFTC began to investigate Barclays in 2008.

But this is not just about one settlement.  It’s about ensuring the public can rely on honest benchmark interest rates.  And market data continues to raise questions about the integrity of LIBOR today. 

As international market participants and regulatory authorities move toward more reliable and honest benchmark interest rates, I believe it is critical that such rates rely upon observable transactions.

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