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Wall Street derivatives: Still no regulation
Key Excerpts from Article on Website of New York Times

New York Times, October 25, 2009
Posted: October 31st, 2009

Hoping, perhaps, to persuade a dubious public that curbing reckless business practices is indeed a Washington priority, the Obama administration and Congress produced a hat trick of financial reforms last week. For all the apparent action in Washington, some acute observers say that it was much ado about little. Last weeks moves, they say, were tinkering around the edges and did nothing to prevent another disaster like the one that unfolded a year ago. The white-hot focus on pay, for example, looks like a way for the government to reassure an angry public that they are making genuine changes. But compensation is a trifling matter compared to, say, true reform of derivatives trading. The American public understands the immorality of paying people huge bonuses for failures that damaged the economy, said Michael Greenberger, a law professor at the University of Maryland and a former commodities regulator. What they dont understand is that those payments are only a small fraction of the irregularities that took place and that, in essence, the compensation problems, as bad as they are, are a sideshow to the casino-like nature of the economy as it existed, pre-Lehman Brothers, and as it exists today. Regulating derivatives is far more important to those interested in eliminating the possibility of future billion-dollar bailouts. But the derivatives bill generated by the House Agriculture Committee contains a sizable loophole. Many derivatives would not trade in the light of day.

Note: For many revealing reports from reliable sources on the realities of the continuing bank bailout, click here.

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