Final Version of Financial Regulatory Reform Bill Establishes New Landscape - Critical Details Left to Regulators

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One year after being proposed by the Obama Administration and after months of negotiation, which ended in an all-night conference session of key legislators, a final version of financial regulatory reform legislation has been produced. More than 2,000 pages long, the newly renamed “Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act” (Dodd-Frank Bill) includes provisions that will dramatically change the derivatives market. Title VII of the Dodd-Frank Bill, governing derivatives transactions, is attached here, with an index to new definitions and sections of Title VII included here.

The bulk of the Dodd-Frank Bill consists of provisions crafted in the bills previously passed by the House and Senate. These provisions targeting derivatives include the mandatory clearing and trading on exchanges (or swap execution facilities) of most derivatives transactions; new requirements imposed on swap dealers, major swap participants and end users related to capital, margin, disclosure, reporting and recordkeeping; new authority to impose position limits on both exchange traded contracts and swap contracts; and imposition of the “Volcker Rule,” which severely limits the ability of banks to engage in proprietary trading. A chart comparing key provisions relating to derivatives in the Dodd-Frank Bill against those provisions in proposals put forward by the Administration, House and Senate is attached here.

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