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May 10, 2013

Regulators Near a Deal on Platform for Swaps

Futures regulators are close to an agreement that would end a months-long standoff over a central plank of the 2010 Dodd-Frank law and finally bring more transparency to the trading of swaps, the complex financial contracts at the heart of the financial crisis.

The deal would represent a win for Wall Street’s biggest swaps dealers and a big compromise for Commodity Futures Trading Commission Chairman Gary Gensler, who has been at loggerheads with a fellow Democratic commissioner over one part of the rule.

The rule, mandated by Congress, would create electronic trading platforms for swaps and push the trading of such contracts into the open. Mr. Gensler and Mark Wetjen, a fellow commissioner, have been at odds over an arcane provision governing how many firms must bid for swaps on the platforms, known as “swap execution facilities,” before a trade can be executed.

Mr. Gensler, who wanted a greater number of firms to help facilitate competition in swaps trading, appears to have given in to most of Mr. Wetjen’s demands, according to people familiar with a new draft of the rule. The agency has scheduled a vote for May 16.”


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