“The House Appropriations Committee approved an agriculture budgeting bill last month that would significantly restructure the U.S. bank regulatory regime as part of a GOP effort to protect Wall Street’s offshore trading in derivatives — the complex financial products at the heart of the 2008 economic meltdown.
Republicans in Congress have been pressuring regulators for years to exempt derivatives that U.S. companies sell overseas from the new rules set by the 2010 Dodd-Frank financial reform law. For much of 2013, the deregulatory drive enjoyed bipartisan support in the House, with lawmakers casting their efforts as an attempt to harmonize U.S. law with international regulations. But financial reform advocates have attacked the initiative for padding Wall Street profits at the expense of important public protections, and Democratic support has eroded.
Big banks have railed against the CFTC guidelines for taking a broad view of what constitutes an American firm. The SEC’s proposed rule, by contrast, would bar American regulators from overseeing many offshore partnerships run by U.S. firms, and many trades between U.S. firms and overseas companies. Forcing the CFTC to negotiate with the SEC would almost certainly introduce loopholes into the CFTC’s rules, and may shut down the rulemaking process altogether.
‘The House bill is nothing more than a backdoor way of killing derivatives reform,’ said Dennis Kelleher, president and CEO of the financial reform advocacy group Better Markets. ‘It’s Christmas in July for Wall Street.’”
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