Release Number 8140-20

March 26, 2020

ICYMI: Chairman Tarbert Discusses CFTC’s Response to COVID-19 on Bloomberg TV

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Chairman Tarbert on the CFTC’s Response to COVID-19:

“[T]he last couple of weeks we have pivoted our resources to take this challenge head on. And, we are really focusing on two things. First, is really understanding what’s going on in our markets. So, the issue that you’ve raised—are people able to continue to talk to their brokers—that’s something we’ve approached with a series of targeted, temporary no-action relief to allow all of those interactions … We have asked them to make sure they have notes and make sure they are documenting it, but anything we can do to continue the markets to be orderly and liquid to keep that trading going that’s what we’ve done. So, if you visit our website which is, all of the no-action letters that we’ve done are listed there and explains to whom they apply, and what are the basic rules that we have lifted during this temporary where there is social distancing taking place.”

Chairman Tarbert on the Health of the Derivatives Markets

“[R]ight now we are seeing unparalleled trading volumes, so there is clearly trading going on in the markets. The other big thing we are focused on, apart from keeping the markets open and allowing Americans to access them, is making sure that the markets have the stability they had. And, on that note, I am pleased to report the markets are functioning very well ... Margin calls are being made; margin is being collected. So, even though we are having unprecedented, historical periods of volatility, we are not having the instability that we had in 2008. The system itself remains strong, at least thus far.”