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After Two and a Half Years of Consideration, the CFTC Must Delay No More and Must Act to Protect Main Street from Wall Street’s Cross-Border Derivatives Trading

“The CFTC has been working on its cross-border derivatives guidance for more than two and a half years. It is past time for it to be finalized and July 12th is a reasonable date to do so,” said Dennis Kelleher, President and CEO of Better Markets, a nonprofit organization that promotes the public interest in the financial markets.

Timeline of CFTC’s Cross-Border Derivatives Guidance:

•    January 2011: the CFTC began meetings on cross-border guidance;

-The CFTC held a year and a half of meetings, consideration, deliberation, all with an enormous amount of industry input;

•    June 2012: after a year and a half, the CFTC proposed its initial guidance;

-That initial proposal was followed by yet more meetings, consideration, deliberations and input;

•    December 2012, after 6 more months, the CFTC proposed additional guidance and set a deadline of July 12th, 2013, more than 7 months away;

•    May 2013: After yet more input from industry and other interested parties, including in particular, the input of CFTC Commissioners and their staff, Chairman Gensler circulated a revised proposed final draft of the guidance internally to the Commissioners, a full two months before the July 12th deadline;

-Yet more meetings, consideration, deliberations and input have been held with internal and external parties since then;

•    There are still 3 more weeks for yet more meetings, consideration, deliberations and input;

•    July 12, 2013 should be a firm deadline for bringing this process to a close and finalizing the cross border guidance.

“After more than two and a half years, Wall Street and its allies are now arguing that the July 12th date is arbitrary and that more time is needed to consider the proposal. Such claims are baseless and merely pretext for more delay. What opponents of the CFTC’s cross border guidance are trying to do is run out the clock on the Chairmanship of Gary Gensler, hoping that the next CFTC Chair will be much more open to Wall Street’s requests to change and gut the cross-border guidance,” stated Mr. Kelleher.

“If Wall Street gets its way, derivatives regulation will largely end at U.S. shores. The global U.S.-based megabank dealers will then just move their business and operations overseas, and the jobs and revenue that go with them. And, just like last time, just like AIG, Lehman Brothers, Citigroup and so many more, when things blow up overseas from unregulated, high-risk derivatives deals, they will just send the bill back to the U.S. taxpayers,” Mr. Kelleher continued.

“There is simply no merit to any of the claims that more time or more input is needed. This is about whether Title VII of the Dodd-Frank Act is implemented or gutted by strong or weak cross-border regulation. That’s what this is about and what is at stake. There is no reason that this guidance cannot and should not be fully finalized by July 12th,” concluded Mr. Kelleher.

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Better Markets is an independent, nonprofit, nonpartisan organization that promotes the public interest in financial reform in the domestic and global capital and commodity markets. Better Markets advocates for transparency, oversight and accountability with the goal of a stronger, safer financial system that is less prone to crisis and failure thereby eliminating or minimizing the need for more taxpayer funded bailouts. For more information, visit www.bettermarkets.com.

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