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CFTC's Market Risk Advisory Committee sets ambitious agenda

Digital assets, climate change, CCP risk and benchmark reform among key work areas

28 September 2022

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The US Commodity Futures Trading Commission held the first meeting of its reconstituted Market Risk Advisory Committee on 28 September, under the sponsorship of Commissioner Kristin Johnson.

In her opening statement, Commissioner Johnson said the MRAC “serves as an invaluable resource to assist the CFTC in identifying and exploring timely issues in the derivatives and underlying commodity markets” and that “members of the MRAC…should anticipate contributing to the creation of solutions to complex questions, issues, and concerns that will define the future of our markets and shape the economy of our nation and many nations around the world.” 

Commissioner Johnson also formally introduced FIA Board Chair Alicia Crighton, head of the Broker Dealer and Cleared Swaps businesses and co-head of the Global Futures business at Goldman Sachs, as the new chair MRAC. Crighton thanked Commissioner Johnson for the opportunity to represent FIA in this leadership role and acknowledged the important value the MRAC provides both the Commission and industry, particularly in these unprecedented times.

This meeting covered a wide range of issues and set the table for several ambitious workstreams MRAC will undertake under the sponsorship of Commissioner Johnson including a focus on:

  • developments in digital assets and innovative markets;
  • the intersection of policy, regulation and climate change;
  • the migration to new global interest rate benchmarks;
  • issues related to CCP risk and governance; and
  • the future of market structure.

The meeting featured presentations and discussions on each of these topics featuring MRAC members, including trading venues, clearing firms, and central counterparties as well as comments from buyside firms such as BlackRock.

MRAC subcommittees

MRAC currently has two active subcommittees.  They are:

  • the Central Counterparty (CCP) Risk and Governance Subcommittee; and
  • the Interest Rate Benchmark Reform Subcommittee, or IRBR.

During the meeting, MRAC approved re-establishing two MRAC subcommittees whose terms had lapsed. They are the:

  • the Market Structure Subcommittee; and
  • the Climate-Related Market Risk Subcommittee. 

MRAC also approved establishing a new subcommittee - the Future of Finance Subcommittee – which will have a “broad runway” to focus on risks related to new markets, namely markets for digital assets and markets that are heavily dependent on financial technological innovations. 

Commissioner Johnson said the committee intends to populate each subcommittee with both MRAC and non-MRAC members.

Statements and additional documents

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