Gensler: Regulation doesn’t go far enough

Commodity Futures Trading Commission chairman Gary Gensler believes proposed regulation by the Obama administration to govern derivative markets could contain loopholes.

Gensler tells the Washington Post that the legislation leaves significant elements of the market out of the reach of regulators and undermine efforts to combat fraud.  Of particular concern to Gensler is:

  •  certain types of derivatives used to bet on currencies could be exempt from regulators
  • minor derivative traders would not have to meet the robust trading requirements envisioned by the legislation.

He does, however, support the legislation:

A top federal regulator has urged Congress to adopt tougher rules to govern betting in exotic financial instruments known as derivatives than the Obama administration has proposed, warning that the administration’s new vision of market regulation could contain loopholes.

One of the Obama administration’s top priorities in its revamp is to regulate both derivatives and firms that trade them. READ MORE.

Increased energy market supervision; CFTC regulation

There is an interesting story by Reuters about how the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) and the U.K’s Financial Services Authority (FSA) have announced they will closely moniter energy markets.

The story also details some of the CFTC’s plans to tighten commodity trading rules, including position limits in U.S. futures markets and sujecting more  over-the-counter derivatives subject to mandatory clearing.

Under the proposal, the  CFCT and FSA will:

  • increase information sharing and cooperation in surveillance of oil markets
  • enhance direct access rights to trade execution and audit trail data
  • share exchange regulations and disciplinary notices.

The story includes comment from CFTC chairman Gary Gensler:

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – U.S. and U.K. regulators moved on Thursday to increase supervision of energy markets while Washington also detailed new initiatives to tighten the rules in commodities trading.

The Commodity Futures Trading Commission and the U.K. Financial Services Authority announced the steps, which include closer auditing and mutual on-site visits of exchange operators, to gain a better view of trading in U.S. oil futures on the IntercontinentalExchange’s (ICE.N) London exchange. READ MORE

Treasury reveals its emissions target

The New Zealand Herald has a story about how Treasury adviced the Government it should have set its greenhouse gas emission levels 15% above 1990 levels.

The news comes after the Government announced plans last week to reduce emissions by 10-20% of 1990 levels by 2020.

Trade Minister Tim Groser will take the proposal to Bonn later this month in the run-up to December negotiations in Copenhagen on a post-Kyoto climate change agreement.

The story includes comment from Climate Change Minister Nick Smith and Green Party co-leader Russel Norman:

Treasury papers released today show the Government did not follow a call from its financial advisers for it to set a 2020 greenhouse gas emissions target 15 percent above 1990 levels.

On August 10, the Government announced an emissions reduction target range of 10 percent to 20 percent below 1990 levels by 2020.

But Treasury recommended a target range with an unconditional target of 8 percent reduction on a base year of 2005. READ MORE.

Commodity prices blamed for chocolate shrinkage

The Southland Times has a story about how confectionery company Mars is blaming an increase in commodity prices for it reducing the size of its products.

However, despite the reduction in weight, prices for Snickers, Mars, Twix, and M&M’s remain the same.  READ MORE.

NZ dairy futures taking shape

The New Zealand Herald has a story about how the first global dairy futures market being established by the New Zealand Stock Exchange (NZX) will cement the country’s position as a leader in the industry.

However, there is concern that some dairy farmers won’t be financially literate enough to use or understand how the markets work.

There are comment from NZX head of traded products, Fiona Mackenzie, Fonterra’s head of global trade, Kelvin Wickham, and Fonterra Shareholder Council chairman, Blue Read, and veteran farming leader Charlie Pedersen:

The development of the world’s first global dairy futures market could cement New Zealand’s position as an industry leader, NZX says, but there are doubts that farmers will have the financial sophistication to use it.

Sharemarket operator NZX is designing the futures platform to help world dairying players manage their risk in increasingly volatile markets. READ MORE.

Introducing Mark Weldon and the NZX

This is a couple of months old but Commodify Me! would like draw your attention to a story which appeared in the Otago Daily Times in May about the New Zealand Stock Exchange and its chief executive Mark Weldon.

The ODT story mentions NZX’s establishment and sale of a registry for tradeable carbon credits, its acquisition of electricity spot market operator M-Co and it’s acquisition of rural media business Country-Wide Publications:

In his seven years as New Zealand Exchange chief executive, former Olympian and Columbia University School of Law alumnus Mark Mr Weldon has built something of an empire.

Formerly a “number eight wire order-matching exchange” with a reputation for lax regulation and ripe for takeover by the ASX, under Mr Weldon’s rule NZX has cleaned up its act. READ MORE.

Congress considers regulating derivatives

The Washington Post has a story about how Congress is debating legislation whether to regulate derivatives.

The legislation includes establishing a single agency to oversee credit and mortgage lending, to give the Federal Reserve new powers, and to tighten regulations over a host of financial firms and practices:

The Obama administration formally proposed legislation on Tuesday to regulate exotic financial instruments known as derivatives, the final piece of the broad rework of financial regulations to be delivered to Congress. READ MORE.