Friday Financial: Dodd-Frank Act, FINRA’s New Filing System, Iran & Syria Sanctions, Capital Directives, Fannie & Freddie, and More [incl. Video]

[Video: Robert Pickel of ISDA Discusses Dodd-Frank & the Global Picture for OTC Derivatives – MarkteReformsWiki]

For your convenience, here’s a quick Friday roundup of recent advisories and alerts to do with various legal developments in the financial services realm. The updates cover a range of topics and, starting with the excellent video interview above, you should know:

CFTC Adopts Final Rule to Treat Commodity Options as Swaps; Provides Exemption for Physical Options (Sutherland)

“Although the Final Rule (including the interim final rule) will become effective on June 26, 2012, compliance will not be required until 60 days after the final definition of “swap” is published in the Federal Register. The “swap” definition will likely be issued by the CFTC and the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) in the coming months. Market participants will not be required to comply with any applicable condition referencing a swap rule, regulation or order, with respect to commodity options, until such time as the rule, regulation or order is applicable to other swaps…” Read on>>

(Also see: CFTC Vote on Dodd-Frank Indemnification and Confidentiality Provisions by Orrick)

FINRA to Introduce New Electronic Filing System for Public Offerings (Morrison & Foerster LLP)

“On June 4, 2012, the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (“FINRA”) will introduce a new electronic filing system for public offerings that are required to be filed under FINRA Rules 5110, 5121 and 2310 (the “Corporate Financing Rules”). The new Public Offering System is intended to provide operational efficiencies and useful enhancements for filers. The new system will replace COBRADesk, which has been operational since 1999, and which will be retired on June 20, 2012. Any data included in COBRADesk will need to be retrieved before its retirement if an underwriter wishes to have access to it…” Read on>>

Short Selling: An Increasing Need for a Global Harmonisation (Orrick)

“The 2008 financial crisis led securities’ regulators around the globe to limit or prohibit short selling, believing that it could lead to a collapse in securities’ prices. However, although such measures were introduced almost simultaneously at national level (for a limited period of time), they lacked homogeneity as they had not been previously agreed upon at international level, with the consequence that their application created serious issues in the global financial markets…” Read on>>

Responding to Capital Directives and Related Enforcement Actions (Pillsbury Winthrop)

“In the past four years, the FDIC has closed approximately 400 insured institutions—as of January 1, 2012, the FDIC has indicated that there were over 800 banks on its “problem bank list.” The difficulties experienced by many of these institutions are summarized in this analysis— and may provide useful guidance when attempting to resolve capital issues in the next few years…” Read on>>

Mayday Executive Order Pertaining to Evaders of U.S. Sanctions Against Iran and Syria (White & Case)

“Yesterday’s Executive Order authorizes the Secretary of the Treasury to prohibit ‘all transactions or dealings … in or related to (i) any goods, services, or technology in or intended for the United States or (ii) … provided by or to United States persons, wherever located’ if the transaction or dealing involves a designated foreign person…” Read on>>

Mortgage Insurer Settles DOJ Discrimination Suit (Ballard Spahr)

“The settlement stems from a federal court lawsuit filed in July 2011 in the Western District of Pennsylvania that followed the DOJ’s investigation of a complaint filed by a woman who claimed she was discriminated against when MGIC refused to proceed on a request to insure the mortgage loan for which she had applied. The suit alleged that the woman was on paid maternity leave when the request was submitted to MGIC, and that MGIC would not proceed on the request until she had returned to work full time…” Read on>>

Future With Fannie and Freddie Lesser Evil Than With Wall Street? (Bilzin Sumberg)

Margaret Chadbourn of Reuters recently reported that both Republicans and Democrats have ‘found a rare point of agreement.’ They want to phase out or at least substantially reduce the role of the Federal National Mortgage Association (Fannie Mae ) and the Federal Home Loan Mortgage Corporation (Freddie Mac ) in the residential mortgage financing industry. Currently, Fannie and Freddie now support 60% of all new U.S. home loans…” Read on>>

Despite the JOBS Act, the Old Rules Still Apply For Now (Davis Wright Tremaine)

“As we wrote last week, the most exciting provisions of the JOBS Act, at least for private companies–the repeal of the ban on general solicitation in all accredited offerings and crowdfunding–are not yet effective and won’t be effective until the SEC issues new regulations. On the same day we published that post, the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) issued a notice reminding everyone that crowdfunding is still unlawful until the SEC adopts new rules implementing the JOBS Act’s crowdfunding exemption…” Read on>>

Additional Finance & Banking advisories on JD Supra>>