This morning, the Agriculture Committee of the U.S. House of Representatives voted to approve H.R. 1003. The bill seeks to impose additional and unnecessary economic analysis on every financial reform rule proposed by the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC), an independent agency responsible for policing the $350 trillion U.S. derivatives market.
“Wall Street cannot win its war against financial reform, which is intended to protect Main Street from another financial collapse, without the help of elected officials in Congress. Unfortunately, that was made clear again today in the House Agriculture Committee, which approved a bill to make it more difficult for the CFTC to protect taxpayers and the economy from gigantic high risk derivatives bets like the ones that ignited the last crisis,” said Dennis Kelleher, President of Better Markets, Inc., an independent nonprofit organization that promotes the public interest in the financial markets.
“This is just the latest in Wall Street’s non-stop campaign to tie up regulators and prevent them from putting sensible rules in place to protect Main Street. Many claim they are against regulations, but they have no trouble over-regulating the regulators while de-regulating Wall Street, which just caused the worst financial collapse since 1929 and the worst economy since the Great Depression, as a recent Better Markets analysis showed,” said Mr. Kelleher.
“Making matters worse, Congressman David Scott (D –GA) suggested during the very limited debate that the bill was ‘non-controversial’ and merely applied an executive order issued last year on regulatory process to the CFTC, an independent agency. However, it is a very controversial bill because what Wall Street calls ‘cost benefit analysis’ is really biased, one-sided industry-costs-only-analysis that disregards the devastating costs to the country from the last crisis and the enormous benefits of avoiding another one, as another recent Better Markets’ analysis demonstrated. Wall Street also uses cost-benefit analysis as its primary weapon in its many lawsuits to kill financial reform and protect their profits and bonuses,” Mr. Kelleher said.
“It is also not true to suggest that the bill merely applies a pre-existing executive order to the CFTC. H.R. 1003 goes far beyond the provisions of the executive order and once again puts the economic well-being of Wall Street ahead the interests of the American taxpayer,” Mr. Kelleher concluded.