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Senate Ag Chair watching details of finreg rules
March 29, 2011 / 8:12 PM / 7 years ago

Senate Ag Chair watching details of finreg rules

* Regulators must follow Congressional intent - Stabenow

* “Devil is in the details” on new finreg reform-lawmaker

By Christopher Doering

WASHINGTON, March 29 (Reuters) - The success of new U.S. financial reform legislation from Congress could be judged by the “devil in the details” yet to come from U.S. regulators tasked with implementing the sweeping legislation, a top Senate Democrat said on Tuesday.

The Dodd-Frank Wall Street reforms of 2010 gave regulators, including the Commodity Futures Trading Commission and the Securities and Exchange Commission, new found responsibility including oversight of the roughly $600-trillion global over-the-counter derivatives market.

“Given the strong legislative intent, the regulators still have broad new authorities, and the devil is in the details,” Debbie Stabenow, the new chairman of the Senate Agriculture Committee, said at a forum on law’s implementation.

“They need to know if they are writing regulations too broadly or unintentionally pulling some market participants into the definitions,” she said.

Stabenow said market participants affected by the new law have a responsibility to speak out about how rules will affect them.

“The decisions made in the coming months will shape the derivatives regulatory landscape and global financial markets for decades to come,” she said.

U.S. businesses such as Constellation Energy Group CEG.N, MillerCoors SAB.L(TAP.N) and Caterpillar (CAT.N) have argued for a generous end user exemption because they use derivatives solely to hedge risk from wild swings in prices of raw materials or fluctuations in interest rates.

Farmers, manufacturers and other companies use derivatives to protect their businesses insist they’re not at risk of destabilizing the financial system, and are worried they could get caught up in requirements that derivatives users put up money to guard against losses.

“While Congress greatly expanded the authority of the agencies, it also came with the understanding that they must take a thoughtful, cautious approach that reflects Congressional intent,” said Stabenow.

“This includes following Congressional intent to protect end-users from burdensome margin requirements,” she said.

Regulators at the CFTC and SEC have struggled to implement many of the provisions of Dodd-Frank. Gary Gensler and Mary Schapiro, the heads of the CFTC and SEC, respectively, have said they will miss deadlines from Congress to get the new regulations drafted and implemented.

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