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March 15, 2012

Rules Cleared to Identify Systemic Clearinghouses

A group of financial watchdogs on Monday approved rules for designating derivatives clearinghouses systemically important, a move that will allow regulators to start identifying which of the intermediaries for the $450 trillion swaps industry will be subject to higher capital levels and more examinations.

The Financial Stability Oversight Council, made up of bank and securities regulators, approved a rule that would allow the group to identify which big clearinghouses will be designated as “systemically important” and subject to gradually increasing capital levels, risk management standards and more exams by regulators, as additional protections against unsettling financial markets in the event they were to collapse.

Dennis Kelleher, president of progressive watchdog group Better Markets, complained that this meeting, like all previous public council meetings, have taken on a formulaic approach with limited debate. The council does have periodic private meetings as well.

“Unfortunately, thus far its public meetings are reminiscent of the old, heavily-scripted Soviet Politburo meetings: Everyone sticks to the script and the party line,” Kelleher said.


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