Regulators Set Out Swaps Definition

Some instruments excluded; CFTC and SEC will continue to share oversight.

The Securities and Exchange Commission and the Commodity Futures Trading Corp. proposed rules yesterday that define swaps as the agencies move to regulate that market. Most current swaps would be traded on exchanges. The rules would exclude certain instruments from the definition of swaps, such as insurance policies and home heating oil contracts.

The CFTC would have oversight of swaps tied to commodities and interest rates, while the SEC would deal with those tied to loans or other securities. The CFTC decided yesterday to extend the comment period for the new draft regulations by 30 days.

The CFTC also voted to require non-bank dealers and major swaps market participants to set aside $20 million in Tier 1 capital. A MarketWatch story cites CFTC Commissioner Scott O’Malia arguing that the capital requirement would raise costs for corporate end users.

See coverage on Reuters and Bloomberg.

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