For nearly a century, American electoral politics was characterized by the oft-repeated aphorism: “As Maine goes, so goes the nation.” These words rang true to Americans for at least two reasons – first, because of Maine’s early harvest and immoderate fall weather, it held gubernatorial and congressional elections in September. Hence, the winning party often hopefully viewed its results as a harbinger of victory in the November presidential election. Secondly, pundits regarded Maine as a statistical bellwether, since its winning gubernatorial party in September took the White House in November near three quarters of the time between 1832 and 1932. This reputation was especially cemented into American consciousness in 1888, when Maine was solidly Republican in September and predicted Benjamin Harrison’s electoral victory in spite of losing the nationwide popular vote. But Maine’s bellwether reputation was shattered forever in 1936,…

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Now that Election Day is nearly a week behind us, the bunting has all been put away and the confetti swept from the streets…wait, this was a midterm election, so maybe no bunting or confetti, but at least TV ads are back to selling, not slinging, and a few yard signs have come down. For all the glamour and hype that a midterm election typically lacks, this one saw big change across the nation. But whether you experienced elation or devastation…wait, midterm year, make that modest content or mild disappointment, one fact remains: what happened on Tuesday was not without precedent. Some call it the Six-Year Itch, others the Six-Year Curse, but whatever you call it, there is a phenomenon that has been playing out over the last 100 years wherein whichever political party has held the White House for…

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End-User Exception Election For swaps subject to mandatory clearing, end users will be exempt if they qualify for the end user exception and provide justification. The end user exception must be elected on a per trade basis. If an end user is facing a swap dealer, the exempt end user would provide the information to its swap dealer counterparty, or its financial entity counterparty. The dealer or financial entity would report this information to a “swap data repository” along with the specific trade details. If two end users face each other, one of the end users would have to notify the CFTC, through reporting to the SDR, that the election to use the end-user exception to mandatory clearing. The CFTC’s final rule would require any end user that wishes to be exempt from clearing to report additional information on an…

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