Lincoln Steers Landmark Wall Street Reform Through Agriculture Committee

Apr 21, 2010

Bipartisan Bill Passage will Pave Way to Ending Backroom Wall Street Deals
Lincoln Bill will Bring Transparency, Accountability to Wall Street

The U.S. Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition and Forestry, chaired by U.S. Senator Blanche Lincoln, D-Ark., today approved The Wall Street Transparency and Accountability Act, bringing the strongest Wall Street reforms to date a step closer to reality. The bipartisan bill will bring 100 percent transparency to the nation’s financial markets, prevent future bailouts and keep jobs on Main Street. The legislation will be incorporated into the larger financial reform bill that will be considered by the full Senate in the coming weeks.

“The Senate Agriculture Committee has taken a significant step toward bringing real reform to our nation’s financial markets, providing the transparency and accountability that the American people deserve in a bipartisan way. My bill will bring the $600 trillion derivatives market out of the dark and into the light of day, ending the days of backroom deals and putting this money on Main Street where it belongs,” Lincoln said.

Lincoln’s bill prohibits the Federal Reserve and FDIC from providing any federal funds to bail out Wall Street firms who engage in risky derivative deals. Banks engaging in risky swaps transactions will be forced to spin off their swap dealer desks or be barred from receiving any federal assistance.

“This is the strongest Wall Street reform bill to date,” Lincoln said. “Banks need to decide if they want to be banks or if they want to engage in the risky trading that caused the collapse of firms such as AIG. My bill closes all loopholes and ensures regulators have the authority to go after those who evade the law.”

The legislation also includes mandatory clearing and trading requirements and real-time reporting of derivatives trades, making the entire financial system safer. The bill’s narrow end-user exemption will allow commercial interests, such as electric cooperatives, to be able to hedge business risks.

As chairman of the U.S. Senate Agriculture Committee, Lincoln has jurisdiction of the Commodity Futures Trading Commission which oversees the derivatives market. Since becoming Chairman last fall, Lincoln has worked closely with Senate Democrats and Republicans, as well as the administration to craft meaningful reform.
 

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