Some Observations in the Aftermath of Hurricane Sandy

Hurricane Sandy caused unprecedented damage to New York, New Jersey and Connecticut areas. Power outages, loss of property, transportation disruptions, and trauma affected the financial community here more severely than any time since 9/11. Many local residents were without power for more than a week. Folks with gas cans in hand stood in lines that often numbered more than 100…...

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Expanded FDIC Insurance for Uninvested Cash in IRAs

In just this past year we have seen the futures industry make headline news from the unforeseen downfall of MF Global and the failing of PFGBest shortly thereafter. Media frenzy surrounding the collapse of these high-profile firms exposed shortcomings with market oversight and left us asking the evident question – “What is the future of the futures market?” Although the…...

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2012 Sees NFA and CFTC Provide Enhanced Protections for Customer Funds Held at FCMs

In 2012, NFA and CFTC introduced a range of rules aimed at increasing protection of customer funds held at FCMs. These rules, some of which are final and some of which are proposed but appear well on their way to implementation, generally enhance transparency, cement requirements for FCMs maintenance of FCM ‘residual interest’ amounts in customer segregated accounts, tighten up…...

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Firm works on sequestering futures brokers’ client funds

AlphaMetrix Group says its AlphaMetrix360 unit has been selected to help develop a system for separating and sequestering customer funds for futures commission merchants. The system is being built for CME Group and the National Futures Association. “Obviously, no system or set of rules can completely eliminate fraud,” NFA’s Karen Wuertz says. “However, this system will greatly enhance the ability…...

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Year-End Tax Planning

Given the political landscape for 2013, the choices you make in preparing your 2012 tax returns may carry greater importance than usual. 2013 will bring a wide variety of changes: 9% Medicare Surtax for the self-employed as well as high income earners with incomes over $200k(s) and $250k(mfj). A new Medicare tax of 3.8% on all unearned income. Unless Congress…...

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Global Economics Pivoting on the FX Markets in 2013

Currency movements among the major central banks involved in ZIRP (zero interest rate policies) may dominate market attention as we move beyond (or resolve eventually) the US fiscal cliff debate. The issue is that exchange rate movements among the ZIRP currencies of the US Dollar, Euro, Japanese Yen, and British Pound can be highly challenging given that they are all…...

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CFTC Consumer Outreach Update – November 2012

In 2010, Congress passed the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Re-form and Consumer Protec-tion Act, which states that the CFTC can fund customer education initiatives to help customers protect them-selves against fraud or other violations of the Commodity Exchange Act. In response, the CFTC established an Office of Consumer Outreach (OCO). Prior to establishing the OCO, CFTC staff re-viewed other federal agency…...

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NFA Announces Nominations Made by the 2012 Nominating Committee

Notice to Members I-12-26 November 9, 2012 Please Route To: Compliance/Legal Sr. Management NFA Announces Nominations Made by the 2012 Nominating Committee In accordance with NFA Bylaw 406, the Office of the Secretary has received from the 2012 Nominating Committee a list of its nominees for positions on NFA’s Board of Directors and 2013 Nominating Committee. The list of nominees…...

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NFA announces workshop to assist SDs/MSPs in the 4s documents submission and review process

November 6, 2012 NFA announces workshop to assist SDs/MSPs in the 4s documents submission and review process National Futures Association will hold its first in a series of workshops to assist swap dealers (SD) and major swap participants (MSP) with the registration process. This three-hour workshop, presented by NFA staff, will be held at NYMEX World Headquarters in New York…...

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Sourcing Hidden CTA’s

As 2012 comes to a close it’s apparent the commodity interest markets have had a tough year. We’ve continued to watch the developments of MF Global, seen Peregrine Financial Group (“PFG”) come unglued and nearly watched Knight Capital crumble after a trade error. We’ve seen commission rates continue lower, talked to clients who are uneasy about investing in our industry,…...

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