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July 11, 2013

Deal Reached to Rein In Overseas Trading

Regulators in Washington have agreed in principle on a plan to rein in risky trading by banks overseas, according to people briefed on the matter, a truce that follows a messy split in the Commodity Futures Trading Commission.

The potential deal, subject to final approval by the agency, would be reached with only hours to spare before a deadline on Friday. The commission had established the deadline when it set out to decide how to regulate trading by American banks in London and beyond — a major factor in the 2008 financial crisis.

Until now, the trading commission seemed destined to miss the date. Some officials at the agency, which oversees trillions of dollars in Wall Street activity, had warned that a compromise was proving elusive as tension mounted.

The dispute traced largely to the agency’s Democratic chairman, Gary Gensler, and Mark Wetjen, a Democratic commissioner with an independent streak. While Mr. Gensler was adamant that the agency complete its plan on time, Mr. Wetjen recently called the deadline “arbitrary.” And with the agency’s Republican commissioner pushing for a delay, Mr. Wetjen holds the swing vote.”

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