The de minimis exemption is a critical element of the swap dealer rule, as it determines which swap dealers will actually be designated as regulated swap dealers and subject to formal dealer oversight. This CFTC proposal addresses a wide range of issues surrounding this exemption. These range from the step-down from $8 billion to $3 billion in notional value that is scheduled to happen under current Commission rules, to proposals for a wide variety of expanded exemptions from the types of swaps that are counted toward the de minimis exemption. AFR is deeply concerned by some elements of this proposed rule, especially the major expansions in exemptions from swaps that must be counted toward the de minimis threshold. Some of these expansions, especially the potential exemptions for cleared and exchange traded swaps and the exemption for swaps used for financial hedging, hold the possibility of severely undermining the swap dealer regulatory regime and therefore the statutory intent of Title VII of the Dodd-Frank Act.
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