Beware the Commodity Swap Data Swamp

Data quality for over-the-counter commodity swaps reported to swap data repositories, as mandated by the Dodd–Frank Act, has worsened since reporting began more than four years ago, with some blaming the CFTC, while others blame resistance by the SDRs to collaboration, and the variety of reporting standards. Dan DeFrancesco wades into the murky issues.

A managing director at a US swap dealer calls the data “completely unusable,” while the head of trading at a large hedge fund says it’s not clean enough to incorporate into the firm’s investment process, and a former general counsel of US regulator the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) admits it hasn’t lived up to expectations.

Their concerns appear to be well founded. According to GTR Analytics, which cleans and consolidates SDR datafeeds for traders and brokers, around 28 percent of

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