Proposed Senate Bill on Credit Derivatives Would Put CDS under the Umbrella of the CFTC, Running Counter to SEC Plans

In a move that could radically alter the DNA of the over-the-counter credit derivatives business, Senator Tom Harkin (Democrat, Iowa), chairman of the Senate Agriculture, Nutrition and Forestry Committee, introduced a bill on November 20 that would force all over the counter (OTC) financial instruments, including credit default swaps, onto regulated futures exchanges.  Harkin’s bill, named the Derivatives Trading Integrity Act 2008, would require derivatives to be traded as futures contracts, thus falling under the sole supervision of the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC).  We detail the substance of the bill and its potential implications for CDS and other OTC derivatives.

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