U.S. Senate expected to add stricter rules on derivatives market

08:23, April 16, 2010      

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The U.S. Senate is expected to add stronger regulatory rules on the unpoliced derivatives market, a leading senator said on Thursday.

"We hope to get it on the floor next week," Senate Democratic Leader Harry Reid told reporters at a briefing, referring to a final bill of the financial regulatory reform.

The Senate Agriculture Committee is scheduled to propose its new rules on the 450 trillion dollars over-the-counter (OTC) derivatives market -- the last unfinished piece of the sweeping financial overhaul.

The OTC derivatives component is major source of revenue for Wall Street bank giants, including Goldman Sachs, JPMorgan Chase, Morgan Stanley, Citigroup and Bank of America.

Rules proposed by Senate Agriculture Committee Chairman Blanche Lincoln on derivatives market are stricter than those approved by the Senate Banking Committee and the House of Representatives.

The House approved a sweeping reform bill in December 2009. Senator Christopher Dodd, Chairman of the Senate Banking Committee, proposed his own draft in February and now the bill is on the way to the Senate floor.

The House's bill would have to be merged with the Senate's version before a final measure could go to President Barack Obama to be signed into law.

The Obama administration is in favor of a strong financial overhaul. Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner said Tuesday that U.S. needs a "financial reform with teeth."

Obama met leaders of the Congress on Wednesday and urged the lawmakers to support his proposal. He will meet with economic advisers on Friday to discuss financial reform, including derivatives market oversight, a White House spokesman said.

But the financial bill in process is strongly opposed by financial firms. They argued that the financial regulations headed to the Senate floor would weaken competitiveness of the U.S. financial sector and add new burdens to the country's struggling businesses.

Despite the public and private policy disputes, lawmakers from both parties have said that consensus exists on significant bipartisan bill lies within reach.

Analysts expect that the bill may be passed the Senate before the end of this month.



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