Securities Law Updates | New Proposed Legislation
June 9, 2011
Key House Lawmakers Introduce Bill to Extend Deadline for Derivatives Title of Dodd-Frank
A Bill to Facilitate Implementation of Title VII of the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act
H.R. 1573, 4/15/2011
U.S. Representatives Spencer Bachus (R-AL), Frank Lucas (R-OK), K. Michael Conaway (R-TX), and Scott Garrett (R-NJ) have introduced H.R. 1573, which would extend the deadline by 18 months for implementing Title VII of the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act.
The bill gives the regulatory agencies more time to effectively meet the objectives of the derivatives title, to prioritize deliberation over speed, to consider the costs and benefits, and to understand the cumulative impact of the rules that will be applied to the marketplace. Additionally, the bill realigns the U.S. with the G20 agreement to implement reform by December 2012.
The derivatives provisions of Dodd-Frank will impact every segment of the economy. The bill reflects the concerns of thousands of U.S. businesses, i.e., end-users, that use derivatives to manage the risks they face every day.
For example, farmers use derivatives to lock in the prices of their crops for the coming season. Manufacturers hedge against fluctuating prices in the raw materials that go into production. Hospitals hedge against rising interest rates on financing medical equipment and technology.
To provide clarity to market participants, the bill maintains the current timeframe for the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) and the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) to issue final rules regarding regulatory designations that will define the market, and maintains the current timeframe for rules requiring record retention and regulatory reporting. It also requires additional public forums to take input from stakeholders before the rules can be made final.
“This bill will restore order to the rulemaking process to implement the Dodd-Frank derivatives title. There is no need to rush and meet arbitrary deadlines when the rest of the world is at least 18 months behind the United States. This bill will ensure that the United States is not placed in a competitive disadvantage compared to the rest of the world. Despite the best efforts of the regulators, the rules have not been proposed in a logical sequence, and if implemented on the current timeframe, could weaken U.S. markets during a period of economic recovery. Importantly, the bill will provide regulators with vital information about derivatives transactions to ensure transparency. Hopefully, the additional time and information provided by this bill will allow the regulators to engage in the proper due diligence to get the derivatives rules right from the start.” - Rep. Spencer Bachus, Chairman of the House Committee on Financial Services.
“The impact of these rules is epic for thousands of businesses, our financial markets, and the overall economy. We need to be cautious. Regulators need time to consider the consequences of their actions. As lawmakers in Congress, we are doing our part to assist them in this effort. We need to ensure that our end-users are not caught up in a regulatory regime that imposes upon them unjustified and unnecessary costs.” - Rep. Frank Lucas, Chairman of the House Committee on Agriculture.
“Because of the short timeframes allowed to meet the staggering mandates of the Dodd-Frank Act, the CFTC has been forced to place speed over deliberation. While we are short on means, one resource Congress can afford to provide the CFTC with is time. The Commission needs the proper amount of time to thoughtfully consider the overwhelming comments of concern by market participants thus far. It is often said ‘there’s never enough time to do it right, but there’s always enough time to do it over.’ My hope is that within the additional time provided, the Commission will move towards an order of sequencing and an implementation schedule of its final rules in a logical order.” - Rep. K. Michael Conaway, Chairman of the House Committee on Agriculture’s Subcommittee on General Farm Commodities and Risk Management.
“The legislation we are introducing today is completely sensible and absolutely necessary. Dodd-Frank set up a totally unrealistic and unworkable timeline for the implementation of a massive and bifurcated new regulatory regime to oversee the U.S. OTC derivatives markets. If the regulators get this wrong, it will be difficult – if not impossible – for businesses of all shapes and sizes to responsibly hedge their risks, and trading will be forced off of U.S. markets to those overseas. Without this legislation, the rulemaking process will be unnecessarily rushed – we are ensuring that regulators have enough time to get this right.” - Rep. Scott Garrett, Chairman of the House Committee on Financial Service’s Subcommittee on Capital Markets and Government-Sponsored Enterprises.
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