Dodd’s bank reform bill lumbers into view

The Senate Banking Committee gets a week to digest the 1,336-page bill before marking it up. Good luck with that

Topics: Bank Reform, How the World Works, Christopher Dodd, D-Conn.,

Dodd's bank reform bill lumbers into viewU.S. Senate Banking Committee Chairman Chris Dodd (D-CT) unveils his financial reform substitute on Capitol Hill in Washington, March 15, 2010. Dodd on Monday unveiled a bill to revamp U.S. financial rules that would place a consumer protection agency within the Federal Reserve and give the central bank new powers over non-bank financial firms. REUTERS/Jason Reed (UNITED STATES - Tags: POLITICS BUSINESS)(Credit: Reuters)

Sen. Chris Dodd, D-Conn., released his long-awaited draft of a new financial regulatory bank reform bill on Monday. It is 1,336 pages long, which means, unless you want to crib from the “factsheet” summary released by the Senate Banking Committee, that it will probably require another couple of hours before the regulation geeks can tell us exactly what is inside this monster. (The early word: The Fed will get more power.)

One section likely to be of great interest to both the banking industry and its critics starts on page 492 of the “Restoring American Financial Stability Act of 2010″: Title VII, “Improvement to Regulation of Over-the-Counter Derivatives. “

I’m working my way through it, but I was caught up short right at the start. In Subtitle A: “Regulation of Swap Markets,” Section 711: “Definitions,” part (a): “Amendments to Definitions in the Commodity Exchange Act,” sub-section (2), the Act provides a five part definition of what kinds of derivatives are considered “swaps.” Part three is characterized by a certain mad financial poetry.



…[T] he term ‘swap’ means any agreement, contract, or transaction that –

(iii) provides on an executory basis for the exchange, on a fixed or contingent basis, of one or more payments based on the value or level of one or more interest or other rates, currencies, commodities, securities, instruments of indebtedness, indices, quantitative measures, or other financial or economic interests or property of any kind, or any interest therein or based on the value thereof, and that transfers, as between the parties to the transaction, in whole or in part, the financial risk associated with a future change in any such value or level without also conveying a current or future direct or indirect ownership interest in an asset (including any enterprise or investment pool) or liability that incorporates the financial risk so transferred, including any agreement, contract, or transaction commonly known as an interest rate swap, a rate floor, rate cap, rate collar, cross-currency rate swap, basis swap, currency swap, total return swap, equity index swap, equity swap, debt index swap, debt swap, credit spread, credit default swap, credit swap, weather swap, energy swap, metal swap, agricultural swap, emissions swap, or commodity swap.

Whew. I needed a long break just after reading that one sentence, and it was only one part of a definition. How long do you think it will be before the members of the Senate Banking Committee are all fully up to speed on the implications of every new rule in the entire Act?

Andrew Leonard

Andrew Leonard is a staff writer at Salon. On Twitter, @koxinga21.

More Related Stories

Featured Slide Shows

  • Share on Twitter
  • Share on Facebook
  • 1 of 11
  • Close
  • Fullscreen
  • Thumbnails
    Burger King Japan

    2014's fast food atrocities

    Burger King's black cheeseburger: Made with squid ink and bamboo charcoal, arguably a symbol of meat's destructive effect on the planet. Only available in Japan.

    Elite Daily/Twitter

    2014's fast food atrocities

    McDonald's Black Burger: Because the laws of competition say that once Burger King introduces a black cheeseburger, it's only a matter of time before McDonald's follows suit. You still don't have to eat it.

    Domino's

    2014's fast food atrocities

    Domino's Specialty Chicken: It's like regular pizza, except instead of a crust, there's fried chicken. The company's marketing officer calls it "one of the most creative, innovative menu items we have ever had” -- brain power put to good use.

    Arby's/Facebook

    2014's fast food atrocities

    Arby's Meat Mountain: The viral off-menu product containing eight different types of meat that, on second read, was probably engineered by Arby's all along. Horrific, regardless.

    KFC

    2014's fast food atrocities

    KFC'S ZINGER DOUBLE DOWN KING: A sandwich made by adding a burger patty to the infamous chicken-instead-of-buns creation can only be described using all caps. NO BUN ALL MEAT. Only available in South Korea.

    Taco Bell

    2014's fast food atrocities

    Taco Bell's Waffle Taco: It took two years for Taco Bell to develop this waffle folded in the shape of a taco, the stand-out star of its new breakfast menu.

    Michele Parente/Twitter

    2014's fast food atrocities

    Krispy Kreme Triple Cheeseburger: Only attendees at the San Diego County Fair were given the opportunity to taste the official version of this donut-hamburger-heart attack combo. The rest of America has reasonable odds of not dropping dead tomorrow.

    Taco Bell

    2014's fast food atrocities

    Taco Bell's Quesarito: A burrito wrapped in a quesadilla inside an enigma. Quarantined to one store in Oklahoma City.

    Pizzagamechangers.com

    2014's fast food atrocities

    Boston Pizza's Pizza Cake: The people's choice winner of a Canadian pizza chain's contest whose real aim, we'd imagine, is to prove that there's no such thing as "too far." Currently in development.

    7-Eleven

    2014's fast food atrocities

    7-Eleven's Doritos Loaded: "For something decadent and artificial by design," wrote one impassioned reviewer, "it only tasted of the latter."

  • Recent Slide Shows

Comments

0 Comments

Comment Preview

Your name will appear as username ( settings | log out )

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href=""> <b> <em> <strong> <i> <blockquote>