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  • Dodd-Frank Poses a Unique Challenge to Energy Firms

    New Dodd-Frank financial regulation poses unique challenges for energy companies, forcing them to establish proper compliance and regulatory reporting mechanisms and making sure they have the right people to carry out these tasks, industry consultant Mayra Rodriguez Valladares said in a report.

    Energy and other commodity businesses recently caught a break when a U.S. District Court judge ruled against a Dodd-Frank provision on trading position limits. But because Dodd-Frank focuses substantially on regulating over-the-counter derivatives and making them more transparent, companies using energy derivatives will be impacted just as much, if not more so, than banks in some ways, she said.

    "For energy companies, the biggest challenge will be juggling how to live in an environment of uncertainty and possible increases in costs," Valladares wrote in the first of a series of reports on Dodd-Frank's potential impact on various sectors of the business world.

  • Throwing out the Basel III Baby with the Bathwater

    Despite Criticism, New Financial Rules Still Useful for Banks

    As a "Bring down Basel III" media chorus grows louder, it's important to fully understand any regulatory framework changes and remember that no system is perfect, industry consultant Mayra Rodriguez Valladares said.

    Basel III rules, the tighter restrictions on derivatives and capital requirements adopted earlier this year by the Basel Committee on Banking Supervision, are a "very useful tool to improve banks' risk management," but not the only tool, Valladares wrote in a new report.

    Citing a recent editorial in The Wall Street Journal that criticized Basel III, Valladares said it is "incumbent that everyone brings down the shrillness over the debate of capital requirements and financial sector reform… We need a healthy banking sector in order to have a healthy financial sector, not mention a strong economy."

  • The Futurization of OTC: Full Steam Ahead on Dodd-Frank

    As Basel III and Dodd-Frank financial reform takes effect, global banks' quest for capital efficiency will continue to drive more derivatives transactions to centralized clearing and result in a boon for exchange and clearing house operators, industry consultant Mayra Rodriguez Valladares said.

    The implications for big U.S.-based banks "could not be clearer," Valladares said in a new report. Higher capital requirements under Basel III "are here to stay." Banks will thus be focused on ways to reduce capital requirements, which can be done by transacting derivatives with central counterparties.

    In recent months, CME Group and other exchange operators noted increasing bank activity in futures contracts or futures-like products, "something that would have been unimaginable a few years ago." But only about 4% of the top 25 U.S. banks went through exchanges for derivatives transactions as of the second quarter, a percentage that's sure to climb.

    Given this low percentage, clearinghouses and exchanges "are looking at a big business opportunity as banks increasingly comply with Dodd-Frank," she said. Valladares, a CME Group featured contributor, is managing principal with MRV Associates, a New York based capital markets and financial regulatory consulting firm.

  • Dodd-Frank as a Catalyst for Energy Companies

    Whatever form Dodd-Frank financial regulation ultimately takes, energy companies need to think seriously about significant changes in their risk management - how they define, identify, measure, control, and monitor macro and financial risks - industry consultant Mayra Rodríguez Valladares said.

    Oil and gas producers, utilities and others in the industry are likely to join the "futurization" trend, the use of futures contracts, standardized swaps and other instruments traded or cleared through exchanges, in order to minimize credit and operational risks, Rodríguez Valladares said in the second of a two-part series on Dodd-Frank's impact on energy businesses.

    "What energy companies should really do is use this opportunity to focus significantly on revamping how they define and undertake risk management," she wrote. "Risk management is iterative and dynamic, not something senior managers should just deal with starting January 1, when a new law is passed, or when a crisis comes along."

  • The New York Institute of Finance has showcased my spring courses on Basel III, Dodd-Frank, derivatives clearing organizations, and energy.

  • We're A Long Way from Bedford Falls

    Having been brought up in McAllen, Texas, a U.S-Mexico border town, traveling to a foreign country has always been second nature for me. As such, I am always attracted to articles or books where significant global issues are explored.

    When I began to read "What I Learned from a South African Banker" by Wayne Abernathy of the American Bankers Association, I found a thought-provoking piece looking at Basel III from a global perspective.

    The Basel III rules were created following the 2008 financial crisis, which originated in the U.S. and impacted the U.K. and continental Europe. These countries, in turn, served as major influential forces during the rule-writing process and Abernathy is correct to point out that the new rules are often ill-suited and even unfair for many emerging markets and for smaller banks worldwide.

  • Collateralized Debt Obligations: A Primer

    What is a CDO?

    New York Institute of Finance | Professional Certificates & Training
    The New York Institute of Finance provides professional certificates and finance training in both online and in-person educational environments.
  • Obama Administration Focused on Other Issues

    If developments so far in January are any indication, stricter financial rules under the Dodd-Frank Act and the Basel III global banking standards will be slow in coming this year, industry consultant Mayra Rodríguez Valladares said.

    For the Obama administration, it's unlikely that significant financial reform will be a priority in the near-future, "especially with pressing issues such as gun control and immigration reform," Rodríguez Valladares wrote in the latest of a series detailing the impact of changing financial regulation.

    Given sluggish economies in the U.S. and Europe, 2013 "is unlikely to be the year of stringent financial reform," she wrote. "Some may consider this a win for banks, but just as many consider these recent moves of questionable value to or even negative for the economy in the long-run."

  • Bank OpsRisk: Ignored More than a Bridesmaid

    Bank operational risk continues to be ignored by banks and he Basel Committee.

    Bank OpRisk: Ignored More than a Bridesmaid
    The market should pay more attention to whether banks are adequately capitalized for unabated fraud, such as misrepresentations of securities or insi…
  • You Call that Liquidity? New Basel III Rules Are Ineffectual

    How do you get 27 countries with different cultures and political systems, often at different points of the credit cycle, to agree on a reform plan for the global financial system? 

    Answer: By watering it down.

    You Call That Liquid? New Basel III Liquidity Rules Ineffectual
    Every year that passes, politicians, bankers and even some financial regulators forget how illiquidity helped the 2008 financial crisis spread like w…
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