Congressional Testimony: Do Financial Reform Now, Focus on Derivatives Markets

by Gary Larkin, for The Conference Board, December 3, 2009.

While the White House, The House, The Senate and a bevy of U.S. regulators are considering all kinds of financial reform proposals, there are two constant messages: do something very soon and focus on OTC derivatives markets.

In this week alone at meetings of the Joint Economic Committee (JEC), The Senate Agriculture, Nutrition and Forestry Committee and The Senate Foreign Relations Committee, those two messages came across loud and clear from such witnesses as Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner, former Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) Chair Brooksley Born and Brookings Institution Senior Fellow in Economic Studies Robert Litan.

Geithner’s Testimony

In the case of Geithner, who this week testified before both the Senate Agriculture and Foreign Relations Committees, he actually had some breaking news.

“There are very detailed negotiations going on right now in parallel with what is going on in the House and Senate on financial reform on a global accord on capital standards [for banks], on bringing more oversight to the derivatives markets and for trying to build a framework for managing future financial crises more effectively,” Geithner told the Senate Foreign Relations Committee Tuesday as part of an update on the G-20 financial reform proposals…(continue reading)

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