• 3 minutes Oil Price Could Fall To $30 If Global Deal Not Extended
  • 7 minutes Middle East on brink: Oil tankers attacked off Oman
  • 11 minutes Is $60/Bbl WTI still considered a break even for Shale Oil
  • 15 minutes CNN:America's oil boom will break more records this year. OPEC is stuck in retreat
  • 2 hours The Pope: "Climate change ... doomsday predictions can no longer be met with irony or disdain."
  • 1 min Coal Boom in Asia is Real and a Long Trend
  • 35 mins The Plastics Problem
  • 11 hours China's President Xi To Visit North Korea This Week
  • 15 mins Hydrogen FTW... Some Day
  • 3 hours GM Considering Electric Hummer
  • 17 hours Why Is America (Texas) Burning Millions of Dollars Per Day Of Natural Gas?
  • 14 hours OPEC, GEO-POLITICS & OIL SUPPLY & PRICES
  • 19 hours As Iran Nuclear Deal Flounders, France Turns To Saudi For Oil
  • 7 hours The Magic and Wonders of US Shale Supply: Keeping energy price shock minimised: US oil supply keeping lid on prices despite global risks: IEA chief
  • 13 hours Forbes: Giant Floating Solar Farms Could Extract CO2 From Seawater, Producing Methanol Fuel.
  • 32 mins The Latest: Iranian FM Says US Cannot Expect To ‘Stay Safe’
  • 10 hours Russia removes special military forces from Venezuela . . . . Maduro gone by September ? . . . Oil starts to flow ? Think so . .
  • 17 hours Fareed Zakaria: Canary in the Coal Mine (U.S. Dollar Hegemony)
  • 15 hours Hormuz and surrounding waters: Energy Threats to the World: Oil, LNG, shipping markets digest new risks after Strait of Hormuz attack
Alt Text

Venezuela Takes Unprecedented Action To Stabilize Currency

Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro has…

Alt Text

Should Chevron Walk Away From The Anadarko Deal?

Chevron and Occidental are facing…

Dave Forest

Dave Forest

Dave is Managing Geologist of the Pierce Points Daily E-Letter.

More Info

Trending Discussions

What Do Katy Perry and Eminem Have in Common?

Answer: both were quoted in the keynote speech last week by U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) commissioner Scott O'Malia, at the 13th Annual Energy and Commodities Conference in Houston.

Referencing pop culture in a speech on derivatives is a little unorthodox. But what O'Malia was describing to conference attendees was even more so.

The commissioner was discussing the CFTC's implementation of the Dodd-Frank Act. Otherwise known as the financial reform rules in the U.S.

A major thrust of Dodd-Frank has been the regulation of derivatives. Options, futures, swaps and other such instruments that are seen as being a large and potentially risky part of the financial infrastructure.

And the U.S. government and financial institutions have been working frantically since the financial crash to implement new rules to make derivatives trade safer. As O'Malia put it, "I've given up rolling up my sleeves and have just about torn them off." 
But much of this work is now coming to fruition. There have been a whirlwind series of meetings, speeches and seminars on proposed derivatives rules over the last several weeks in the U.S. The market is bracing for big changes.

And those changes are arriving. Today CME Group (owners of a good chunk of American trading platforms, including NYMEX and COMEX), announced that it has officially begun clearing of over-the-counter interest rate swaps.

Clearing of swaps is a priority item under the new rules. Basically this means when these derivatives are traded between two parties, the trade must be executed through a central, independent agent (much like a stock exchange does). Buyers and sellers are no longer allowed to do business directly with each other.

There are several reasons lawmakers pushed for greater clearing of derivatives. It standardizes the market. And provides some degree of insurance if trades go bad.

But one of the main stated reasons for the move is price discovery. By having one (or perhaps a few) central exchanges looking at all derivatives trades, government and regulatory bodies will be able to gather data on going prices, volumes and other metrics. In the past, such information was very hard to gather.

The result being, derivatives markets are going to get a lot more transparent.

Ultimately, this is a good thing. But the transition may be rocky. As I've discussed previously, price discovery can provide some unpleasant surprises.

Up until this point, there has been little data on the market value of many derivatives. Meaning that owners of such instruments probably had some leeway in reporting the value of their derivatives holdings.

That leeway is now disappearing. Clearing of derivatives will provide hard data on prices. It's likely that holders will be forced to use such pricing for reporting purposes.

What do you want to bet that someone somewhere has been keeping derivatives on the books at inflated prices in order to beef up their financials? For any such groups, clearing and price discovery could lead to some significant write-downs. The kind that lead to the last crash, after the introduction of mark-to-market accounting rules.

This is a critical development. We'll be keeping an eye out for any warning signs over the coming months.

Here's to clearing things up.

By. Dave Forest of Notela Resources




Download The Free Oilprice App Today

Back to homepage

Trending Discussions


Leave a comment

Leave a comment





Oilprice - The No. 1 Source for Oil & Energy News