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Chilton: Regulators should act on swaps definitions delayed by SEC

Bart Chilton

Bart Chilton, a Democrat on the Commodity Futures Trading Commission, recently said that U.S. regulators should take quicker action on swaps definitions delayed by the Securities and Exchange Commission.

“We have been continually reassured we are going to consider this joint rule with the SEC ‘next month,’” Chilton said, according to Business Week. “I see no promise of movement from the SEC on this. We are two years into [Dodd-Frank], and position limits were supposed to be implemented after six months.”

Both the SEC and CFTC are required under Dodd-Frank to jointly define which derivatives contracts would be subject to swaps reporting, clearing and trading requirements. Chilton said that the definition must be established before any speculation limits on commodities can take effect, adding that the Financial Stability Oversight Council, led by Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner, should intervene in the process.

SEC Chairwoman Mary Schapiro, however, told the Senate Banking Committee last month that the SEC was cooperating with the CFTC.

“Although the timing and sequencing of the CFTC’s proposal and adoption of rules may vary, they are the subject of extensive interagency discussions,” Schapiro said, according to Business Week.

The speculation limits mandated under the 2010 financial reforms have been a topic of controversy. The International Swaps and Derivatives Association, Inc., and the Securities Industry and Financial Markets Association filed a lawsuit against the rule in December, arguing that the CFTC did not conduct an adequate cost-benefit analysis of the rule.

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