Senator Debbie Stabenow, Chairwoman of the U.S. Senate Committee on Agriculture Nutrition and Forestry, today pressed the nation’s chief financial regulators to implement the Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act. At an oversight hearing, Chairwoman Stabenow said the recent failures of firms like Peregrine Financial Group and MF Global, as well as trading losses at JP Morgan and the ongoing LIBOR scandal, all underscore the need to implement the bill, which was passed by Congress more than two years ago. “Many derivatives are still trading in the dark and some financial institutions are still taking risks that threaten our economy,” Chairwoman Stabenow said. “We need these markets to have integrity and market participants need certainty so they can plan for compliance and make business decisions for the coming months and years. Businesses, farmers and ranchers need to know these markets are safe for trading and hedging risk. And American families need to know their jobs aren’t going to disappear – again – because of excessive risk-taking by a reckless few.”
Chairwoman Stabenow continued, “If anyone is wondering why we need these rules, all you need to do is turn on the news,” Chairwoman Stabenow said. “There’s the LIBOR rate-setting scandal, the Eurozone crisis, the demise of Peregrine Financial Group, significant trading losses at JP Morgan, and the MF Global bankruptcy.”
Gary Gensler, Chairman of the Commodity Futures Trading Commission, and Robert Cook, Director of the Division of Trading and Market at the Securities and Exchange Commission, both testified at hearing. Other witnesses included Robert Pickel, CEO, International Swaps and Derivatives Association, Washington, DC; Larry Thompson, Managing Director and General Counsel, The Depository Trust & Clearing Corporation (DTCC), New York, NY; Dennis Kelleher, President and CEO, Better Markets, Washington, DC; and, Thomas Erickson, on behalf of the Commodity Markets Council, VP of Government Affairs, Bunge North America, St. Louis, MO.
An archived webcast of the hearing can be accessed on the Senate Agriculture Committee’s website at https://ag.senate.gov.