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January 21, 2015

Better Markets Applauds FSOC for Increasing Transparency

Washington, D.C., January 21, 2015  – Dennis Kelleher, President and CEO of Better Markets, issued the following statement on today’s Financial Stability Oversight Council (FSOC) meeting:

“In 2008, American taxpayers were put on the hook for trillions of dollars in bad bets made by AIG and other unregulated financial firms. The Financial Stability Oversight Council’s mission is to prevent that from ever happening again by serving as the early warning system that protects American families from the hidden risks that could lead to future crashes, bailouts, and economic catastrophes.”

“FSOC’s success, however, requires the trust, confidence and support of the American people.  That means FSOC, its members, meetings and actions must be as open, inclusive, deliberative and thorough as possible.  The proposals in the staff report discussed today were an important step in the right direction, especially in increasing transparency as Better Markets has advocated for some time.  We applaud those proposals and look forward to reviewing them in detail now that they are publicly available.

“We are also pleased to see FSOC move forward the agenda of benchmark reform so that key rates and markets like LIBOR and FX cannot again be corrupted and rigged.  Those markets are critically important to all American businesses and families and their integrity must be restored.  However, to have public credibility and support, the proposed Federal Reserve benchmark-setting Alternative Risk Free Committee simply cannot be solely or even predominantly industry membership.  That is the very industry that corrupted and rigged the markets in the first place.  FSOC can and must ensure that the Committee is broadly inclusive and have very strong public safeguards to prevent conflicts of interest from tainting the Committee, the process and, ultimately, the benchmarks themselves.”

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Better Markets is an independent, nonprofit, nonpartisan organization that promotes the public interest in financial reform in the domestic and global capital and commodity markets. Better Markets advocates for transparency, oversight and accountability with the goal of a stronger, safer financial system that is less prone to crisis and failure thereby eliminating or minimizing the need for more taxpayer funded bailouts. To learn more, visit www.bettermarkets.com.

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