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On December 15, the House of Representatives passed the Commodity Futures Modernization Act, providing much-needed regulatory reform for exchange-traded and over-the-counter derivatives. The Senate simultaneously passed the bill on a voice vote and President Clinton signed the bill into law on December 21.
The new legislation gives broad exclusions for swaps contracts from commodities laws, especially for swaps negotiated by banks. It also lifts the 18-year ban on trading single-stock futures and reauthorizes the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) for a period of five years.
In a prepared statement, the CFTC called the legislation "a significant step forward for U.S. financial markets" that "will provide the flexibility needed to maintain a leadership role in the global market arena." Because the legislation extensively revises the Commodity Exchange Act, the CFTC has withdrawn most of the new regulatory framework it adopted in November and published in the Federal Register on December 13.
No contested elections for NFA Board vacancies
On November 14, 2000, NFA notified its Members of the nominations made by the 2000 Nominating Committee for positions on NFA's Board of Directors and Nominating Committee. At that time, Members were also given the opportunity to make other nominations by petition. Since no candidates were added via petition, the following individuals will serve three-year terms on the Board of Directors:
Futures Commission Merchants
Victor R. Silano
Commodity Pool Operators
Commodity Trading Advisors
NFA Information Center receives high marks
NFA's Information Center recently released the results of its caller satisfaction survey conducted last year. The survey was mailed to frequent callers to the Information Center. It was also published in the March/April 2000 issue of News,Facts,Actionsand posted on NFA's web site. Results indicate that customer satisfaction continues to rate very highly.
"We have conducted a customer satisfaction survey annually for the past three years," says Audrey West, supervisor of NFA's Information Center. "This year we improved our ratings in every category."
The percentage ratings increased significantly in the areas of Helpfulness, Professionalism, Courteousness and Customer focus. On a scale of 1 to 5, the lowest average rating for any category was 4.4 and the highest was 4.8.
"We are very pleased with the survey results," says West. "They support our belief that the Information Center Representatives have continued to improve their performance in all areas of the job during the past year."