Friday, May 15, 2009

Having it both ways?

Is the Obama administration pulling the wool over our eyes with the derivatives regulations put in place yesterday? Of course, with this they can get to trumpet that the appropriate rules are in place and yet leave enough wiggle room for unscrupulous Wall Street bankers (just about all of them are) to create mischief...

From here: It does not call for trading derivatives on fully regulated exchanges, the most visible and reliable way of reining them in. It also makes a distinction between standardized and customized derivatives and proposes a lighter regulatory touch for the custom variety. That could open the door to gaming the new system, a door that would be shut if all derivative contracts were traded on exchanges. In some important respects, it appears to give regulators the discretion, though not the duty, to police markets more closely. The proposal also seems to invite tension between the Securities and Exchange Commission and the Commodity Futures Trading Commission, the main regulators that would oversee derivatives. Regulatory jurisdiction must be clarified if the new rules are to have any teeth. Another tension is that, in carrying out the new rules, President Obama’s nominee to lead the Commodity Futures Trading Commission, Gary Gensler, has a credibility problem. During the Clinton administration, Mr. Gensler — along with Lawrence Summers, Mr. Obama’s top economic adviser — championed derivatives’ deregulation.

1 comment:

Sindhu Gangadharan said...

Hmmm..whom can we believe in these days..