MFA Submits Comments to ESMA in Response to Consultation Paper on Short Selling and Credit Default Swaps

MFA submitted a letter to the European Securities and Markets Authority (ESMA) in response to its proposed regulations on short selling and credit default swaps. In the letter, we address a number of issues surrounding proposed requirements on investors prior to engaging in a short sale. First, MFA commented that given the ever-changing nature of markets, ESMAs suggested approach of producing a list of all agreements or arrangements seems too restrictive. Alternatively, we recommended that ESMA consider providing market participants with additional flexibility. Second, the distinction between the Standard Same Day Locate Confirmation and Measures and the Liquid Shares Locate Confirmation and Measures is necessarily artificial, and will be difficult for market participants to implement in practice. MFA recommended that instead, a locate provider make a judgment of the liquidity or illiquidity of shares available to it (to settle an investors sale) whenever it provides a locate to an investor, and in doing so consider other relevant criteria.