CFTC Update

The following Public Information Collection Requirement has been published:

  • 76 FR 36525
    Agency Information Collection Activities: Notice of Intent To Renew Collection, Exemptions From Speculative Limits
    Comments must be submitted on or before August 22, 2011.
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CFTC Announces Members of the Technology Advisory Subcommittee on Data Standardization

CMC members CME Group and ICE are on this committee.

CFTC Announces Members of the Technology Advisory Subcommittee on Data Standardization
Subcommittee will look into public/private solutions for creating well-accepted standards for describing, communicating, and storing data on complex financial products.


ICE to up transparency with weekly COT Brent data

By Selina Williams

LONDON (MarketWatch) — Intercontinental Exchange Inc. ICE +1.53% said Monday it will publish weekly Commitment of Traders reports for its global benchmark ICE Brent crude and ICE gasoil futures contracts, as part of efforts to increase market transparency.

ICE Futures Europe said it was publishing the weekly reports as part of plans to develop “comprehensive reporting across regulatory jurisdictions.” The U.S.’s Commodity Futures Trading Commission already publishes a weekly COT report on the ICE WTI crude futures contract.

ICE’s first report for Brent and gasoil was issued Monday; subsequent reports will be published weekly at 1100 GMT.

“ICE Futures Europe is contributing to the transparency of global listed commodity markets,” ICE Futures Europe President David Peniket. “These reports are a constructive contribution in this respect, and an important step in the development of a global standard…that builds on the existing reporting foundations.”

The move comes after French President Nicholas Sarkozy last week called for increased transparency in physical commodities markets and for tighter regulation of commodity derivatives, describing rising oil and food prices as the main threat to global growth.

Debate over the role of speculators in financial markets has grown since 2008, when prices for many commodities surged to record highs.

In recent months Brent, already the benchmark for more than half the world’s crude oil, has consolidated its position as the more closely-watched global marker. Logistical problems at WTI’s landlocked delivery point in Cushing, Okla. have depressed the price of the U.S. crude causing it to decouple from the international market.

Draft Staff No Action Relief is Posted

The draft staff no action letter regarding post-July 16 relief is now posted.

http://www.cftc.gov/ucm/groups/public/@newsroom/documents/file/noaction061411.pdf

Agencies Extend Comment Period on Swap Margin and Capital Proposed Rulemaking

Five federal agencies have approved and will submit a Federal Register notice that extends the comment period on a proposed rule to establish margin and capital requirements for swap dealers, major swap participants, security-based swap dealers, and major security-based swap participants as required by the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act. The comment period was extended to July 11, 2011, to allow interested persons more time to analyze the issues and prepare their comments. Originally, comments were due by June 24, 2011.

The proposal was issued by the Federal Reserve Board, the Farm Credit Administration, the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, the Federal Housing Finance Agency, and the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency.

View the PDF here.

Obama releasing 30M barrels from US oil reserve to offset Mideast turmoil, high gas prices

By Associated Press, Updated: Thursday, June 23, 12:48 PM

WASHINGTON — Wary of a new surge in gas prices, the Obama administration said Thursday it is releasing 30 million barrels of oil from the country’s emergency reserve as part of a broader international response to lost oil supplies caused by turmoil in the Middle East and North Africa, particularly Libya.

The release from the U.S. Strategic Petroleum Reserve will be the largest ever, amounting to half of a 60 million-barrel international infusion of oil planned for the world market over the next month.

White House officials would not predict how the release of the oil will affect prices at the pump, although the move is intended to increase U.S. supplies during the peak summer driving season. Read more of this post

France Warns of Hunger as Farm Ministers Meet

In what is sure to be a historical meeting of agricultural ministers from G20 countries occurs this week, France is pushing hard for reforms that include eliminating speculators from markets.  They are also proposing a centralized database of stocks, limits on export bans, international market regulation, emergency stockpiles and a plan to raise global output.

See bold comments below.

Read more of this post