Swap Regulators consider $3 Billion threshold for swap-dealer registration

U.S.  Swap Regulators are considering a threshold above $3 billion for determining which banks, hedge funds and energy firms are swap dealers under the Dodd-Frank Act. According to various news sources, the SEC and CFTC are discussing when the “aggregate gross notional value” of a company’s dealing business requires registration as a swap-dealer.      The initial proposal of $100-million threshold was made in 2010.     This … [Read more...]

Compliance Comes to Capitol Hill

President Obama signed into law a bill tightening insider-trading rules on members of Capitol Hill and other government officials prohibiting them from profiting on material nonpublic information they gain access to during their employment. The new legislation referred to as the STOCK Act, the Stop on Congressional Knowledge Act.  The Act prohibits lawmakers, their families and staff, as well as other executive and judicial branch employees … [Read more...]

High-Frequency Traders May Face EU Fees

Under European Union plan to limit market abuse, high-frequency traders and similar investors may be required to pay penalty fees when they create market volatility by placing excessive numbers of canceled orders. The introduced fees would be similar to the fee structure introduced last year on Nasdaq OMX Group Inc. (NDAQ) exchanges in Nordic countries. The plan addresses May 2010 “flash crash” during which the Dow Jones Industrial … [Read more...]

Bank of America Settle Mortgage Securities Action for $315 Million

Bank of America Corp. reached a $315 million settlement with a group of investors who sued its Merrill Lynch unit claiming they were misled about mortgage- backed securities. According to a court filing, holders of the asset-backed certificates sued Merrill Lynch in December 2008 claiming false and misleading prospectus statements related to the securities. The investors argued that inaccurate statements were made about qualifications of … [Read more...]

Japan Regulators and Tokyo Stock Exchange team up on Olympus Fraud

Japan’s Financial Service Agency will work closely with the Tokyo Stock Exchange to urge Olympus Corp. to disclose facts behind its loss cover-up. Olympushas lost more than 500 billion yen ($6.4 billion) of market capitalization since mid-October, when the company ousted President Michael C. Woodford after accusations of fraud.    Since Woodford’s whistle blowing, the company has disclosed that three executives helped conceal decades of … [Read more...]

MF Global Bondholders May Get as Little as 10%

According to Fitch Ratings, MF Global Holdings Ltd.’s bondholders may recover as little as 10 cents on the dollar in the company’s bankruptcy recently filed. Owners of the failed broker’s senior unsecured debt will get back between 10% and 30% of the notes’ face value.    The analysis is based on MF Global’s balance sheet as reported in public filings and doesn’t consider the potential performance of the broker’s European … [Read more...]

CFTC Limits Commodity Speculation

The Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) voted 3 to 2 today to limit trading in oil, wheat, gold and other commodities after a boom in raw-materials speculation, record- high prices and years of debate and delay. The rule limits the number of contracts a single firm can hold and it limits traders to 25 percent of deliverable supply in the month nearest to delivery. The spot-month limits apply separately to physically settled and … [Read more...]

ICE Proposes New York Floor-Access Fee

According to various news sources, ICE Futures U.S. proposed that individual members of the exchange pay a fee of $3,000 for the first half of 2012 to use the New York options-trading floor for contracts including sugar and coffee. In a letter to the Commodity Futures Trading Commission, ICE stated that as electronic trading of exchange options contracts continues to increase in both absolute terms and as a share of total options volume, ICE … [Read more...]

Basel III Hurts European Companies More Than U.S.

According to Standard & Poor’s, under new capital rules for banks and insurers European companies will pay as much as 50 billion euros ($68 billion) a year in additional borrowing costs.   It is more than triple the amount for U.S. borrowers. S&P’s chief credit officer for Europe, Blaise Ganguin, wrote in a report stating that higher funding costs, shortened loan maturities and a lower equity investor base may push up the cost of … [Read more...]