Posts Tagged ‘derivatives’

While we expected lobbyists for opponents of strong derivatives reform to have something to say about the legislation to reform the industry, maybe we didn’t expect them to come out with such fervor. Turns out they outnumber the pro-reform lobbyists by 11-1, a Public Citizen report found. That’s right, when it comes to financial reform, Wall Street has thrown 903 lobbyists against our 79. This means we have to work 11 times as hard to make sure We, the People are protected in this legislation. We could use your help. Take action.

From the press release:

“Wall Street is fighting hard to keep its casino open for business,” said David Arkush, director of Public Citizen’s Congress Watch division. “They want to keep making risky bets, awarding themselves billions in bonuses and running to Uncle Sam for handouts when they lose. Their position is ridiculous and discredited, so it’s not surprising that they would hire nearly a thousand lobbyists to drown out reform advocates.”

Want to make sure your voice is heard when the Senate tries to rein in Wall Street? Sign the petition. Call your senators. Tell a friend. We can’t let Wall Street’s sheer man power overtake this much-needed overhaul of the abusive financial sector.

Read Full Post »


Now that the Kabuki dance is finally over and the financial reform bill is moving to the Senate floor, attention can be turned to the real issue: Will the new rules rein in Wall Street? The key issue is not whether the financial regulatory bill is going to pass but whether it will be strengthened.

The Senate banking committee bill contains a wide range of important reforms that should be enacted quickly, but the bill also must be strengthened considerably to establish a framework to prevent a recurrence of the financial crisis.

Here are five priorities as the debate goes forward: (more…)

Read Full Post »


Senate Agriculture Committee Chair Blanche Lincoln (D-Ark.) delivered important and strong derivatives reform legislation that passed her committee today. The Wall Street Transparency & Accountability Act of 2010 goes a long way to rein in the risky and out-of-control derivatives market. Banks have exploited these complex financial arrangements to pump up energy prices and extend systemic risk in securitized debt markets, which was the catalyst in the near-collapse of the U.S. economy in the fall of 2008.

The legislation corrals the unregulated over-the-counter market by requiring most derivatives to be traded openly on exchanges with only limited exemptions for bona fide hedging. Derivatives dealers would be subject to real-time price and trade reporting. The bill as proposed also would require commercial banks to leave the business of trading in derivatives, a reform that substantially reduces the overall riskiness in the financial system. Further, the legislation would give additional new authority to the Commodity Futures Trading Commission to crack down on abusive derivatives products and more effectively police this multitrillion-dollar trading market.

We applaud Sen. Lincoln and the committee for approving this measure. Now the Senate must stand up to the lobbying clout of Wall Street and not weaken this needed legislation.

Tyson Slocum is the director of Public Citizen’s Energy Program.

Read Full Post »

With the revolving door spinning out of control and legions of former government officials and staffers trading on their government connections and knowledge to win lucrative private sector jobs as lobbyists, it is refreshing to see House Financial Services Committee Chairman Barney Frank (D-Mass.) act swiftly and decisively to stifle this abuse by his former senior staffer, Peter Roberson.

Roberson was instrumental in drafting derivatives provisions of the financial reform legislation that the House passed in December. When Roberson made the legally required disclosure to Chairman Frank that he was negotiating employment as a lobbyist with a firm in the derivatives industry, Chairman Frank removed Roberson from any further work on the committee and denied Roberson any compensation beyond what he was already owed. When Roberson left to join Intercontinental Exchange (ICE), an operator of derivatives exchanges and clearinghouses, Chairman Frank borrowed from President Obama’s rulebook and unilaterally banned contacts between Roberson and the staff of the House Financial Services Committee for as long as Frank remains chairman of the committee. President Barack Obama imposed a similar ban on former executive branch officials from ever lobbying the Obama administration.

Suddenly, the revolving door deal (more…)

Read Full Post »