The CFTC’s No-Action Letter Relating to Eligible Contract Participants and Swap Guarantee Arrangements

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In a no-action letter issued on October 12, 2012 (the “No-Action Letter”), the Office of the General Counsel (“OGC”) of the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (the “CFTC”) clarified a number of matters relating to the parties and guarantors that will qualify for treatment as “Eligible Contract Participants” under Title VII of the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act (“Dodd-Frank”). Dodd-Frank both amended the definition of “Eligible Contract Participant” (hereinafter, “ECP”) contained in the CEA and made it unlawful for a party that is not an ECP to enter into a swap except on, or subject to the rules of, a designated contract market (a “DCM”). The No-Action Letter, one of more than a dozen interpretive letters that the CFTC issued last week, should significantly aid market participants in understanding which counterparties and which guarantee arrangements are permissible under Dodd-Frank.

In the No-Action Letter, as set out in greater detail in Part I below, the OGC gives interpretive guidance that...

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