Fed reportedly rewriting leverage-ratio rule | ESMA might ban sales of cryptocurrency CFDs | Macron: UK can keep EU market access, with conditions
January 19, 2018
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Fed reportedly rewriting leverage-ratio rule
The Federal Reserve is rewriting a leverage-ratio rule, sources say, a change that could free up billions of dollars for banks. The Federal Deposit Insurance Corp., which has authority over bank rules, reportedly opposes the change.
Bloomberg (free registration) (1/19) 
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ESMA might ban sales of cryptocurrency CFDs
The European Securities and Markets Authority is considering including cryptocurrency contracts for difference in online-trading regulations. A ban on sales is possible.
Bloomberg (free registration) (1/18),  Financial Times (tiered subscription model) (1/18) 
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Macron: UK can keep EU market access, with conditions
Macron: UK can keep EU market access, with conditions
Macron and UK Prime Minister Theresa May (WPA Pool/Getty Images)
French President Emmanuel Macron said that if the UK wants its banks to retain free access to the European single market, Britain must contribute financially to the EU budget and submit to the authority of EU courts. The approach is commonly called the "Norway model" because that's Norway's relationship with the EU.
Bloomberg (free registration) (1/18),  The Guardian (London) (1/19),  Politico Pro (subscription required) (1/18) 
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European court might get role in bilateral disputes
The European Commission is proposing that the European Court of Justice play a role in settling trade disputes between the EU and Switzerland, making it a possible model for Brexit.
Financial Times (tiered subscription model) (1/18) 
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Regulatory Roundup
ESMA guidance expected to update derivatives reporting rules
The European Securities and Markets Authority is expected to publish updated guidance concerning post-trade reporting requirements for over-the-counter derivatives under the revised Markets in Financial Instruments Directive after reviewing industry comments, sources say.
Risk (subscription required) (1/19) 
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San Francisco Fed's Williams reportedly interviewed for vice chairman
John Williams, president of the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco, has been interviewed by the White House for the Fed vice chairmanship, a source says, though there is no indication he is a front-runner. The position requires Senate confirmation once the White House nominates someone.
Bloomberg (free registration) (1/18),  The Wall Street Journal (tiered subscription model) (1/18),  Financial Times (tiered subscription model) (1/18) 
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Industry Developments
Morgan Stanley clears bitcoin futures for core clients
Morgan Stanley offers core institutional clients clearing of bitcoin futures, Chief Financial Officer Jonathan Pruzan says, though activity has been low. Pruzan would not say how the bank sets margin levels.
Bloomberg (free registration) (1/18) 
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European firms avoid VM rules on forex swaps
Industry participants are using legal guidance that says they can treat foreign exchange swaps as forwards to avoid variation-margin rules after European regulators exempted physically settled forex forward trades. The legal opinion is based on a lack of clarification on the distinction between forex swaps and forwards.
Risk (subscription required) (1/18) 
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Electronic Trading News
ICE prepares cryptocurrency data feed
Intercontinental Exchange has teamed up with Blockstream to create a data feed for financial firms that taps 15 cryptocurrency exchanges. The feed, expected to launch by March using ICE's high-speed data network, fulfills "requests for information for anything that would provide transparency into this market," ICE Data Services President Lynn Martin says.
The Wall Street Journal (tiered subscription model) (1/19),  Financial News (UK) (tiered subscription model) (1/18) 
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Financial Technology
FIA Tech: Blockchain's evolution to benefit futures industry
Blockchain has long-term potential for the futures industry once technological, industrial and regulatory aspects evolve, says Mark Davis of FIA Tech. "It is prudent to not be looking for a problem and forcing a specific technology to be a solution but to find a problem where a technology is a natural solution for that problem," Davis said.
Futures & Options World (subscription required) (1/18) 
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FIA News
January L&C Webinar: "CFTC's Approach to FinTech"
The FIA Law & Compliance Division's January webinar has a new date of Jan. 25. This webinar will explore the CFTC's approach to fintech, focusing on recent developments involving cryptocurrency products and marketplaces and industry initiatives to use distributed-ledger technology and smart contracts to significantly enhance the infrastructure of the derivatives and futures marketplaces. The webinar will also cover the CFTC's recent dedicated fintech effort, called LabCFTC, and the CFTC's fintech efforts in the context of those of other US and foreign regulators. Learn more about this webinar and register!
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