Compromise on Derivatives Bill Adds to Debate

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The ongoing debate over regulation of the over-the-counter (OTC) derivatives market recently picked up considerable steam following the release of Sen. Blanche Lincoln’s (D-AR) much anticipated bill governing OTC transactions on March 16, 2010. Following quickly after Sen. Lincoln’s bill, the Wall Street Transparency and Accountability Act of 2010 (Lincoln Bill), was passed out of the Senate Agriculture Committee, feverish negotiations between Sen. Lincoln and Sen. Chris Dodd (D-CT) led to a compromise between the two committee chairmen (Dodd/Lincoln Compromise) that will result in many of the Lincoln Bill’s proposals being included in Sen. Dodd’s Restoring American Financial Stability Act of 2010 (Dodd Bill) before such bill is sent to the full Senate for consideration.

The Dodd/Lincoln Compromise, like the Lincoln Bill upon which it is based, represents the most restrictive set of proposed regulations governing OTC transactions released to date, including the Dodd Bill, the Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act of 2009 (H.R. 4173) passed by the House, and the Obama Administration’s proposal for derivatives regulation, put forth under the auspices of the Treasury Department. (For a discussion of these prior legislative proposals, see Sutherland Legal Alerts attached here and here.)

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