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CFTC’s Sommers warns that Dodd-Frank debate could disrupt global swaps market

Jill Sommers

Jill E. Sommers of the Commodity Futures Trading Commission said that the ongoing debate over Dodd-Frank guidelines concerning international effects could disrupt the $708 trillion global swaps market.

“I’m deeply concerned that there has not been adequate coordination” with the Securities and Exchange Commission and foreign regulators, Sommers said on Monday during a speech at the Institute of International Bankers conference in Washington, Bloomberg reports. “Of even greater concern to me is that the [CFTC] appears to be considering a piecemeal approach.”

Domestic banks, including Goldman Sachs Group Inc., JPMorgan Chase & Co. and Morgan Stanley have warned that the Dodd-Frank Act would undermine U.S. competitiveness in the swaps market.

Michel Barnier, the European Union financial markets commissioner, has pressured U.S. regulators to coordinate Dodd-Frank rule-writing efforts with foreign nations that are designing similar legislation.

Sommers said that the CFTC may publish swaps guidelines pertaining to international reach within a few weeks. She also said that the agencies should issue a joint ruling, Bloomberg reports.

The CFTC and SEC are spearheading efforts to write derivatives rules as part of an effort to enhance transparency and reduce risk in the swaps market.

Sommers claims that the CFTC’s proposed regulations have not gone through an adequate cost-benefit analysis and that the public has not had enough time to comment on the proposed rules.

“I do not believe that these rules have a chance of withstanding the test of time but instead believe that the [CFTC] will be consumed over the next few years using our valuable resources to rewrite the rules we knew or should have known would not work when we issued them,” Sommers said, according to Bloomberg.

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