Thursday, June 23, 2011

(Corrupt) Lawmakers challenge derivatives rules

I'm not the least bit surprised by this story detailing the push back by well funded (by whom, do you think?) US senators and representatives against proposed rules to reign in derivatives. Here's some choice material:
The lawmakers, Republicans and Democrats alike, argue that some proposed rules could force Wall Street’s derivatives business overseas. They also say that regulators are ignoring a crucial exemption to the rules spelled out in the Dodd-Frank financial regulatory law.

The law excused airlines, oil companies and other nonfinancial firms known as end-users from new restrictions, including a rule that derivatives must be cleared and traded on regulated exchanges. The firms use derivatives to hedge against unforeseen market changes, say a rise in fuel costs or interest rates, rather than to speculate.

“We are concerned that recent rule proposals may undermine these exemptions, substantially increasing the cost of hedging for end-users, and needlessly tying up capital that would otherwise be used to create jobs and grow the economy,” Senator Debbie Stabenow, Democrat of Michigan and chairwoman of the Senate Agriculture Committee, and Representative Frank D. Lucas, her Republican counterpart in the House, said in a letter this week to regulators.
I particularly like the phrase "airlines, oil companies and other nonfinancial firms known as end-users" identifying those who have restrictions. Does anyone doubt that lawyers and accountants at Goldman Sachs, JP Morgan and virtually every other big bank are working overtime right now deciding how they can turn the bank, or some subsidiary in the Cayman Islands, into an airline, oil company or other nonfinancial firm? I would bet they're just looking for a new pathway through which to route all their high risk stuff - and they've counseled the lawmakers on how they can best carve out some useful routes.

The other thing that is simply precious is this (the likes of which we've heard many times already, of course):
The lawmakers, Republicans and Democrats alike, argue that some proposed rules could force Wall Street’s derivatives business overseas.
The proper response would be not worry, but GOOD, PLEASE HURRY UP! Let them take their financial engineering business overseas and blow up someone else's economy.

P.S. Here's a random string of letters and digits: W8ENHMJ8MBKD. Ponder it if you like, but I don't see that it holds any particular meaning or interest. I have to tuck it into one of my blog posts somewhere to get listed on Technorati.


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