CMC Discusses Rep. Owens Letter and Debt Ceiling Debate on Policy Call

This week, on CMC’s policy conference call with our members, we discussed a number of legislative and regulatory topics.  Among those that generated the most interest were the debt ceiling debate in Congress and a letter from Rep. Bill Owens (Democrat – New York) to CFTC Chairman Gary Gensler.

CMC staff expressed the opinion that a last-minute debt ceiling deal will eventually be reached by the two parties in Congress and the Obama administration, and the deal will include significant spending cuts, although much less than what the Republicans are seeking.  Given overnight developments in the ongoing political negotiations, CMC staff remains of that view, although we would add that the deal will probably be of a short-term nature, enabling the elected politicians to kick the proverbial can down the road while they try to negotiate (or not) a more comprehensive, big picture, longer term solution to America’s fiscal and debt situation.

Rep. Bill Owens recently sent a letter to Chairman Gensler urging the CFTC to follow congressional intent by exempting end-users from margin requirements and other regulations.  CMC and many other trade associations supported this letter, which attracted 71 bipartisan co-signers from the House of Representatives.  Chairman Gensler was asked five specific questions around the swap dealer definition, and he has been given approximately two weeks to respond to Congress.