Fried Frank

CFTC Adopts Final Rules on Speculative Position Limits

By: David Mitchell, William Breslin, Mathias Turjman

During a public meeting held on October 18, 2011 (the "Open Meeting"), the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (the "Commission" or the "CFTC") approved by a vote of 3 to 2 final rules position limits for futures, options and swaps (the "Final Rules")pursuant to the provisions of Section 737 of the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act (the "Dodd-Frank Act"), which amended Section 4a of the Commodity Exchange Act in certain respects.  The Final Rules will become effective January 17, 2012, although, as described below, various aspects of the Final Rules will be implemented in phases.  In addition, the spot-month position limit rule is an interim final rule, which is subject to further consideration, and the comment period thereon will close on January 17, 2012.  The Final Rules will be codified in a new Part 151 of the Commission's regulations and will result in a substantial overhaul of the existing position limits regime.  However, certain longstanding exemptions from position limits have been retained, including the independent account controller exemption, in modified form.

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