Senate Passes Financial Regulatory Bill – Dramatic Changes to Derivatives Regulation a Certainty

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Months of tortuous debate have come to an end as the U.S. Senate passed its version of financial regulatory reform on May 20, 2010. The passage of this piece of legislation, the Restoring American Financial Stability Act of 2010 (Senate Bill), nearly ensures that the vast overhaul of regulation over the U.S. financial system that has been looming for much of the last year will finally be set in motion. The Senate Bill will now be sent to a conference of House members and Senators, where it will be reconciled with the Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act of 2009 (House Bill) previously passed by the U.S. House of Representatives. A final bill could be ready for the President’s signature by early July.

The Senate Bill is based primarily upon the legislation crafted by Sen. Chris Dodd (D-CT) in the Senate Banking Committee. The derivatives portion of the Senate Bill, however, incorporates the compromise language agreed to by Sen. Dodd and Sen. Blanche Lincoln (D-AR), based in large part on the work of the Senate Agriculture Committee. A summary of this compromise language can be found in our Legal Alert dated April 29, 2010. We have also created a chart detailing specific provisions impacting derivatives transactions, which is attached here. This chart includes section references to where specific provisions may be found in the Senate Bill, given that it is believed that the Senate Bill will be the basis for negotiations in conference.

Please see full alert below for more information.

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DISCLAIMER: Because of the generality of this update, the information provided herein may not be applicable in all situations and should not be acted upon without specific legal advice based on particular situations.

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