Wall Street Journal says Comex has been classified as 'too big to fail'Submitted by cpowell on Fri, 2012-05-25 06:09. Section: Daily Dispatches A Mess the 45th President Will Inherit
Taxpayers Now Stand Behind Derivatives Clearinghouses
From the Wall Street Journal
Thursday, May 24, 2012
President Obama's standard gripe is that the economy has performed so poorly during his term because of the financial crisis he inherited from George W. Bush. But this week it is Mr. Obama who has bequeathed to his successors a landmark in financial regulation. It is bound to haunt them, though not as much as it will haunt taxpayers.
J.P. Morgan's recent trading loss and the resulting Washington blather about tighter regulation have grabbed headlines.
Little noticed is that on Tuesday Team Obama took its first formal steps toward putting taxpayers behind Wall Street derivatives trading -- not behind banks that might make mistakes in derivatives markets, but behind the trading itself. Yes, the same crew that rails against the dangers of derivatives is quietly positioning these financial instruments directly above the taxpayer safety net.
As we noted in May 2010, the authority for this regulatory achievement was inserted into Congress's pending financial reform bill by then-Senator Chris Dodd. Two months later, the legislation was re-named Dodd-Frank and signed into law by Mr. Obama. One part of the law forces much of the derivatives market into clearinghouses that stand behind every trade. Mr. Dodd's pet provision creates a mechanism for bailing out these clearinghouses when they run into trouble.
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