Annette L. Nazareth

Ms. Nazareth is head of Davis Polk's Washington DC office and leads the trading and markets practice within the firm’s Financial Institutions Group. [Full Bio]

Latest Articles

The regulation and operations of virtual currency exchanges are again in the spotlight, due to the new report issued by the Office of the New York Attorney General (OAG).  The report, which follows the April launch by the OAG of its Virtual Markets Integrity Initiative (VMII), describes in detail the results of the OAG’s “fact-finding inquiry into the policies and practices of platforms used by consumers” (discussed in an earlier Blockchain Bulletin). The…
After a several month lull that led some to question the SEC’s focus on crypto enforcement, this week saw a spate of enforcement activity involving crypto assets: several SEC enforcement actions, an SEC trading suspension order, the first FINRA cryptocurrency enforcement action, and a preliminary court decision consistent with the view that ICO tokens may be (and perhaps often are) securities.  These actions give life to SEC Chairman Clayton’s statement that “to the extent something…
The Director of the SEC’s Division of Trading and Markets, Brett Redfearn, recently provided an update on the status of the consolidated audit trail (the “CAT”), which is being developed by the SROs and Thesys Technologies, LLC, the CAT plan processor.  The public statement noted that although the SROs were required to begin reporting to the CAT on November 15, 2017 under the CAT NMS Plan approved by the SEC, reporting has not yet begun.…
Last week, the CFTC’s Division of Swap Dealer and Intermediary Oversight (“DSIO”) issued time limited no-action relief to a regional commercial bank holding company and its insured depository institution (“IDI”) subsidiaries from having to count certain loan-related swaps toward its swap dealer de minimis threshold.  Currently, an IDI is permitted to exclude from its de minimis threshold calculation swaps entered into with customers in connection with originating a loan, provided various conditions are satisfied (the “IDI Exclusion”). …
The CFTC unanimously approved Final Rule amendments on August 21, 2018 to the regulations governing chief compliance officer (“CCO”) duties and annual compliance reporting requirements for FCMs, swap dealers and MSPs (“Registrants”). These amendments are the first substantive rule amendments to be adopted under Chairman Giancarlo’s Project KISS—an agency-wide effort to simplify and modernize CFTC rules, regulations and practices to make them more efficient and less onerous for regulated entities. As amended, the Final Rule:…
Our public memorandum here describes the notice of proposed rulemaking published by the CFTC on June 12, 2018 that would make permanent the $8 billion temporary swap dealer de minimis registration threshold currently in effect and would make other changes to the de minimis exception. View as a PDF
CFTC Chairman J. Christopher Giancarlo and CFTC Chief Economist Bruce Tuckman released a White Paper on April 26, 2018 that reflects the authors’ personal views on the need for swaps regulatory reforms in the United States in five key areas: swap execution on swap execution facilities (“SEFs”); trade reporting; central counterparty clearing; swap dealer capital; and end user exception to clearing and margining for uncleared swaps. The White Paper contains a mix of specific reform…
In the first major trading and markets initiative under SEC Chairman Jay Clayton, on March 14, 2018, the SEC proposed to establish a transaction fee pilot program to study the effects of maker-taker fee structures. A pilot study was initially recommended by the SEC’s Equity Market Structure Advisory Committee in 2016, and the Treasury Department also expressed support for such an initiative in last year’s report on capital markets regulation (see our previous blog post
The past few days have seen several interesting developments in the law and regulation of digital tokens.  Each action reflects an intense focus by U.S. regulators to clarify the treatment of digital tokens, from those issued by startups in initial coin offerings (ICOs) to the more “traditional” cryptocurrencies such as bitcoin and litecoin, as well as the regulatory status under U.S. law of persons engaging in certain activities involving digital tokens.  These actions are merely…
Responding to a 2016 request by the SEC (in consultation with the Treasury Department), FINRA recently reviewed the extent to which various FINRA rules apply to U.S. Treasury securities.  Following up on that analysis, on February 6, 2018, FINRA issued Regulatory Notice 18-05, requesting comment on whether it should eliminate certain exclusions from the application of its rules for U.S. Treasury securities and other government securities.  FINRA is also requesting comment on whether certain…