CFTC Proposes Substantial Amendments to Speculative Position Limits

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The Commodity Futures Trading Commission has issued proposed rules that would substantially modify the position limit and position accountability rules that currently apply to the trading of various agricultural, energy and metals derivative products. The proposed rules were originally considered at the CFTC’s public meeting on December 16, but were not brought to a vote at that time due to concerns expressed by the Commissioners. At the January 13 public meeting, the Commissioners voted in favor of publishing the proposed rules; however, Commissioner Sommers dissented, while Commissioners Dunn and O’Malia both expressed reservations about the adoption of the proposed rules.

Title VII of the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act of 2010 (Dodd-Frank) requires the CFTC to establish federal speculative position limits for both “exempt commodities” (including energy and metals products) and “agricultural commodities” (which would include the agricultural products for which the CFTC has historically set position limits, as well as an expanded range of agricultural and “soft” commodities). To implement these new requirements, the CFTC proposes to withdraw its Part 150 Regulations, which set out the CFTC’s current position limit and aggregation policies, and replace them with a new Part 151. Among the changes that would be effected by the CFTC’s proposed regulations are the following...

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