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February 28, 2013

Better Markets’ Statement on Reports that the CFTC is Gutting the Proposed SEF Rule


“As we said to Commissioner Wetjen and other Commissioners in recent meetings, gutting the SEF rules will only help Wall Street’s biggest banks continue to control the marketplace and will defeat the purposes of financial reform.  That’s why it’s called the ‘Derivatives Dealers Club.’  Requiring quotes from five market participants is the minimum that should be allowed.  That will help to break the Wall Street oligopoly and bring fairness, transparency and greater stability to the derivatives markets, as required by law,” said Dennis Kelleher, CEO of Better Markets, a nonprofit organization that promotes the public interest in the financial markets. 

“The law and rules shouldn’t be viewed as negotiating opportunities to get the most votes or accommodate Wall Street’s unending baseless complaints.  The law was passed because Wall Street caused the biggest financial collapse since the Great Crash of 1929 and has inflicted the worst economy on the U.S. since the Great Depression.  Financial reform is supposed to prevent that from happening again.  The CFTC must stand up to Wall Street, reject self-serving, profit-maximizing arguments, and protect the American people,” said Mr. Kelleher.

“The rule should be RFQ to all.  RFQ to 5 in the proposed rule was already a greatly weakened compromise.  Anything less is a defeat for Main Street and a victory for Wall Street, which will again try to pick the pockets of taxpayers for more bailouts.  If enforcing the law and protecting taxpayers means a vote is 3 to 2, then that is what should happen.  Compromised lowest common denominator rules are a disservice to the American people, especially all those still suffering from the economic wreckage Wall Street caused in large part by its reckless derivatives trading and investments,” Mr. Kelleher said.

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