Dodd-Frank’s New Rules for Over-the-Counter Swap Transactions

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On July 21, Congress enacted the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act, significantly impacting how many Texas energy companies operate on a day-to-day basis. While the act makes a number of important changes, this article will focus on the new requirements Title VII of the act imposes for over-the-counter swap transactions.

Many Texas energy companies — including power generators, manufacturers, energy trading companies, and oil and gas producers — use swaps to hedge commodity price and other risks. A swap occurs when two parties exchange their payment obligations based on the price of something else. If the act governs a company’s swap, then the swap may be subject to the following key obligations: mandatory clearing, data reporting, position limits and record-retention requirements.

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DISCLAIMER: Because of the generality of this update, the information provided herein may not be applicable in all situations and should not be acted upon without specific legal advice based on particular situations.

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