Perspectives

Addressing regulatory uncertainty

Risk-informed options for energy companies subject to the Dodd-Frank Act

​Many energy companies have struggled to avoid the so-called “collateral damage” to energy markets that has come with the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act and associated rulemaking from the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC). And, the regulatory uncertainty facing energy market participants could ratchet up from current levels.

No “one-size fits all”

There is no “one-size fits all” answer or approach to address the Dodd-Frank regulatory requirements. Our paper will seek to provide a risk-informed perspective, informing compliance leaders and those affected by compliance outcomes as they consider policy developments. In short, this paper will explore how to manage continuing policy uncertainty and corporate pressure to avoid wasteful spending while developing an effective and compliant organization.

Current Dodd-Frank outlook

The current Dodd-Frank regulatory outlook for companies engaged in commodity swaps and futures remains uncertain and challenging. Compliance professionals can move forward by taking a risk-informed assessment of current potential regulatory policy outcomes, examining their organization’s risk preferences regarding Dodd-Frank regulatory risk, and crafting a strategy based on the likelihood of selected scenarios through discussions within their relevant Dodd-Frank response teams—and drawing upon other executive resources, as feasible.

How can this approach help the compliance team

This approach can help:

  • Stay engaged
  • Enhance the company’s understanding and control of the risks arising through its trading activities
  • Create a contemporaneous record of how compliance decisions were made, including discussions of uncertainty or ambiguity
  • Build evidence of an effective culture of compliance and of good faith efforts to comply
  • Enhance the company’s ability to explain the problems with specific policy measures proposed as part of the Dodd-Frank regulatory regime
  • Avoid major expenditures that do not improve the company’s business prospects going forward

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​This paper seeks to share insight on our understanding of recent regulatory policy developments, especially Dodd-Frank regulations. Our goal is to help clients analyze:

  • Whether to do something
  • What to do
  • When to do it
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