48 Hour Film Project: Chicago Edition

WebContentFirm News

48-hour-film-project-chicago

On August 25, the 48 Hour Film Project is issuing a challenge to all of Chicago’s creatives: create a short film in only 48 hours! The winning film will go on to compete “against films from around the world at Filmapalooza 2018 for a chance at the grand prize and an opportunity to screen at the Cannes Film Festival 2018 Short Film Corner,” in addition to a trophy and Movie Magic Screenwriter Software 6.Read More

New Equity Crowdfunding Rules: Expanded Options for Intrastate Fundraising

Zach ZiliakMarket Rules & Responsibilities

Expanded-Intrastate-Offering-Options

The Jumpstart Our Business Startups Act (JOBS Act) of 2012 created the promise of widespread crowdfunding of new business ventures.  While non-equity crowdfunding options like Kickstarter and Indiegogo had been around for years, companies could not entice investors with a share of their businesses without completing extensive disclosures, limiting their offers to accredited investors, or capping the size of their fundraising rounds to fit within various exemptions from registration as required by the Securities Act of 1933.  Now, however, businesses would be able to raise capital from a large number of investors beyond the traditional “Reg D” investors and without many of the onerous disclosures that are otherwise required of companies issuing securities, all because of these new equity crowdfunding rules. Read More

OCIE Publishes Examination Priorities for 2017

Emily HayesBest Practices, Market Rules & Responsibilities

ocie-examination-priorities-2017

Earlier this year, the SEC’s Office of Compliance Inspections and Examinations (OCIE) released its Examination Priorities for 2017.  OCIE annually examines regulated entities[1] to ensure compliance, prevent fraud, identify risk, and inform policy.  These priorities reflect the practices, products, and services that, per OCIE, present the greatest risks to investors and U.S. capital markets.  Regulated entities may use the priorities to prepare for their own OCIE examinations and update their internal compliance and supervisory rules and procedures; however, the priorities do not constitute legal advice. Read More

CFTC Extends Deadline to Comply with March 1st Variation Margin Requirements

Emily HayesBest Practices, Market Rules & Responsibilities

cftc-regulations-swaps

On February 13, 2017 the Commodity Futures Trading Commission delivered an early Valentine’s Day present to swap dealers and major swap participants by extending the deadline to comply with the variation margin requirements for un-cleared swaps stipulated by Commission Regulation § 23.153 from March 1, 2017 to September 1, 2017.[1]  The CFTC’s No-Action Letter announcing this extension, CFTC Letter No. 17-11, applies only to swap dealers and major swap participants without a prudential regulator.[2]Read More

FINRA’s 2017 Regulatory and Examination Priorities

Emily HayesBest Practices, Market Rules & Responsibilities

FINRAs-2017-regulatory-examination-priorities

Earlier this year, FINRA published its Annual Regulatory and Examination Priorities Letter to provide the industry with insights into the areas FINRA plans to review in its 2017 exams and to assist financial firms with reviewing and strengthening their own supervisory and compliance systems.  The letter states five priority areas the authority will focus on in its 2017 exams with a common theme of the industry’s need to focus on what FINRA President Robert Cook terms “core ‘blocking and tackling’ issues of compliance, supervision and risk management.”Read More

Amendments to CME/CBOT/NYMEX/COMEX/CME SEF Rule 432 (General Offenses) Chapter 4, Enforcement of Rules

Emmett McGrathMarket Rules & Responsibilities

chicago-mercantile-exchange-building-cme-rules-and-regulations

Amendments to CME Rule 432 (General offenses) went into effect February 16, 2017. These amendments expand upon the protective measures previously found in CME Rule 432. The amended rule now extends liability for fraud and bad faith (432.B.1); manipulative devices, schemes, and artifices to defraud (432.H.); and delivery of false, misleading or inaccurate crop or market information (432.J.) to include mere attempts to engage in such activities.Read More

Citi Agrees to Adopt Compliance Program and Pay CFTC $25 Million for Alleged Spoofing

Emily HayesCase Studies, Market Rules & Responsibilities

citi-cftc-spoofing

Citigroup Global Markets Inc. (Citi) settled with the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) on January 19, 2017 over the CFTC’s allegations that five traders at Citi “spoofed” the U.S. Treasury futures markets and that Citi failed to supervise the trading activity of its employees.  Pursuant to the Order, Citi must pay a fine of $25,000,000 and must maintain systems and controls that, at a minimum, detect and generate reports on trading activity that may be spoofing. Read More

Brexit Supreme Court Ruling and Article 50

Julianne DardanesCase Studies

brexit-supreme-court-ruling

Last June British voters shocked the world by answering affirmatively to a referendum that, if acted on, would remove the United Kingdom from the European Union. The political and economic implications of this decision were and still remain largely unknown, but we outlined some of the possibilities in our initial post about this topic over the summer.Read More

Navinder Sarao Pleads Guilty to Spoofing

Emily HayesCase Studies, Market Rules & Responsibilities

navinder-sarao-spoofing

On Wednesday, November 9, 2016, Navinder Sarao pled guilty to spoofing and wire fraud before Judge Virginia Kendall in the Northern District of Illinois. After unsuccessfully fighting his extradition from the UK, Sarao became the second person found liable for violating Dodd-Frank’s anti-spoofing statute after Michael Coscia was convicted last year.Read More

Central Bank of Canada Experiments with Blockchain Technology

Emily HayesCase Studies, Market Rules & Responsibilities, Operations, Startup Tips & Resources

blockchain-technology

As large financial institutions partner with Fintech start-ups to test blockchain technology, it is no surprise that governments are also experimenting with blockchain to see any potential savings in transaction costs when clearing and settling payments.  Recently, the national governments of Canada and the United Kingdom tested the technology. The Central Bank of Canada conducted a trial in conjunction with the New York based start-up R3 CEV, whereby banks received digital coins that represented the bank’s  funds in an account at the Central Bank of Canada.  Banks then exchanged the digital coins between themselves and the Central Bank through an Ethereum-based network. The UK government began an experiment using blockchain to distribute welfare payments in July of 2016, and even the State of Illinois established a working group in 2016 to explore how blockchain could increase efficiency.  Read More