Saturday, February 4, 2012

CME NOT Systemically Important Enough to Fall Under Dodd-Frank Act?

Dodd-Frank Act was once billed as, "the act which brought the most significant changes to financial regulation in the United States since the regulatory reform which followed the Great Depression."  Precious metal bugs deemed it a glimpse of hope to ending the manipulation.  Signed into law on July 21, 2010 the act's implementation has been passed around, delayed, awaiting definition, and now faces almost certain repeal in the coming months.  Certain repeal unless the key stakeholders can influence an abolishment of what Dodd-Frank stood for.  Alternatively, it'd be a lot easier if we said we didn't qualify because we were not systemically important.  After all, we as the CME, are just a small derivatives marketplace with minimal effect on the overall economy.  Just give us a second to change the "About Us" section on our website, "As the world’s leading and most diverse derivatives marketplace, CME Group is where the world comes to manage risk. We offer the widest range of global benchmark products across all major asset classes. The company is comprised of four Designated Contract Markets (DCMs)."

 "Two major clearinghouse operators Thursday confirmed that federal regulators have started a review to determine whether to consider them "systemically important." CME Group Inc. (CME) and the Depository Trust & Clearing Corp. separately said that they are working with regulators to see if they will fall under new rules created by the Dodd-Frank financial-overhaul law. "I certainly would be surprised if CME did not fit the definition of a systemically important clearinghouse under the new federal regulations," Kimberly Taylor, president of CME Group's clearinghouse division, said in a conference call to discuss the company's earnings."  Dow Jones on 

Meanwhile, US financial regulators released a statement the same day, Thursday, claiming it was too early to tell if the Dodd-Frank Act would result in a competitive advantage across borders.  Tim Geithner, Treasury Secretary, had the following to say,

"There is no credible evidence to support the argument that these reforms are having a material negative effect on the ability of the economy to recover and grow," Geithner said, according to Politico. "In fact, the evidence is overwhelmingly the opposite."

Geithner then turned the criticism around at Dodd-Frank critics, arguing they themselves are increasing financial uncertainty.

"Those who are working to slow the pace of reform will only increase uncertainty, and they will damage our efforts to try to get the rest of the world to adopt a level playing field," Geithner said, according to Bloomberg NewsFrom Huffington Post

As you would expect, the large banks are burning up huge amounts of capital to get the Dodd-Frank act watered down.  The Huffington Post puts the figure at over $150 million dollars lobbying regulators.  The majority of republican presidential candidates also oppose the bill.  

What started out as a bold initiative to alter financial regulations turned sour shortly after being passed into law.  I guess that would be what you would expect coming from a presidential candidate who was not named Ron Paul.  Paul remains the only hope for any real reform and the re-establishment of transparent and true markets.