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Category Archives: Regulation & Enforcement

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ESMA Keeping Tight Leash On EU Trading Venues Standard

Steven Maijoor, chair of the European Securities and Markets Authority (ESMA), said MiFID II rules launched in January are indeed living up to expectations of pushing more trading onto exchanges, but more work may be required. In remarks before the World Federation of Exchanges annual meeting in Athens, Maijoor said less trading volume is flowing to dark pools and onto exchanges and so-called systematic internalisers (SIs), used by banks and algorithmic trading firms to fill customer orders. The use of ongoing periodic auctions for contracts, however, is coming under greater scrutiny, Maijoor said. These millisecond auctions may not being adhering…

EU Parliament and ECB Taking a Look At Cryptocurrencies Standard

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Last week, which admittedly was a slow financial markets news week, headlines in the cryptocurrency press announced that a new EU report told officials not to ban bitcoin. Blockchain News said the report “. . . blasts economists who criticize cryptocurrencies.”  There was no blasting. While the report prepared by an EU policy department did provide some sound bites, it was one of five reports about central bank monetary policy toward virtual currencies that the EU Parliament had requested. If the briefing papers do guide the discussions, there is no reason to expect shifts in today’s slowly evolving bank regulatory…

The Dawn of Crypto Regulation Standard

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On April 11, 2018, regulators, academics and market users gathered in Washington DC to discuss the issues, challenges and future of regulation for the digital asset space. Titled “Smart Financial Regulation Roundtable: Implications of Cryptocurrencies,” the program featured three separate sessions: The first session: The State of Play in Cryptocurrencies – What are cryptocurrencies and how are they being used and regulated? The second session: The Regulatory Response to Cryptocurrencies – What should regulators and policymakers do to help cryptocurrencies achieve their potential while minimizing risk? The final session: A Fireside Chat with CFTC Commissioner Rostin Behnam and Brian Knight,…

Lessons From the “Not Guilty” Verdict in This Week’s Criminal Spoofing Trial Standard

Wednesday’s stunning “not guilty” verdict in United States v. Andre Flotron, only the second spoofing case ever taken to trial, is a reminder that it is extremely difficult for prosecutors to prove a defendant’s intent beyond a reasonable doubt in the absence of direct evidence. We should expect the DOJ and CFTC to reevaluate their charging practices in the wake of this significant defense victory. The seeds of the “not guilty” verdict were sown when the DOJ drafted an initial indictment charging Flotron in the District of Connecticut with a single count of conspiring with others to “drive prices” up…

Tax Law Change Means All Cash Grain Traders Are Not Equal, Better Bids or No Standard

Grain market players who are not part of farmer-owned cooperatives are alarmed over the potential impact on grain market origination of the recent changes to the U.S. tax code. In what appears to be an unintended consequence of bad tax bill writing, cooperatives have been favored over other market players in the form of a tax benefit to farmers for selling their grain to cooperatives rather than to private grain companies. This change in the way physical grain moves through the system could make it more expensive for consumers, as cooperatives exercise what appears to be newly granted monopoly powers…

An Update on the Consolidated Audit Trail Standard

At STAC’s 92nd Annual Mid-Winter Meeting, JLN spoke with Shane Swanson, chief compliance officer with Thesys CAT LLC, about the state of the Consolidated Audit Trail (CAT). The CAT will be a large trade data repository for options and equities used for surveillance and tracking. Thesys CAT is the recently formed subsidiary of Thesys Technologies tasked with developing the CAT. The plan was intended to go live in November 2017, but as the date neared, the SROs put in a one year exemptive request. While the SEC has not granted the request, it did agree to work toward a new…

Don’t Get the Munchees! A Lesson from the SEC Standard

The Securities & Exchange Commission (“SEC” or the “Commission”) has made good on its promise to pursue companies that engage in what it views as unregulated offerings of securities by way of initial coin offerings or “ICOs.” Specifically, the Commission recently pursued a company called “Munchee” that created an iPhone application for people to review restaurant meals. To fund the creation of its app, Munchee began an ICO seeking to raise $15 million and, in return, issue its token known as a “MUN.”  The company issued a white paper in connection with its ICO. In that document, Munchee indicated that…

Asia Pacific Financial News from John Lothian News – December 21, 2017 Standard

Lead Stories China to Shake Up Global Market With Yuan-Based Oil Futures Contract; Chinese traders, analysts expect start by early 2018 By Georgi Kantchev – WSJ China is preparing to launch its own yuan-based oil futures contract, a move set to shake up the 96 million barrel-per-day global crude market currently dominated by trading in London and New York. https://goo.gl/FMoxQ4 Cameron sold out more than China Bruno Maçães – The Royal Gazette When it was announced earlier this week that former British Prime Minister David Cameron had accepted a leadership role in a new $1 billion UK investment fund intended…