Category Archives: Financial Reform News

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AFR Letter: Mandatory Margin Requirements Needed for Uncleared Swaps

“Mandatory margin requires participants in the swaps market to take full account of the risks of their derivatives transactions and provide some level of advance provisioning for such risks. The availability of properly segregated margin is clearly of enormous value in case of the default of a swaps counterparty.”

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AFR Letter: CFTC and SEC Must Act Against Derivatives “De-Guaranteeing” Ploy

“On behalf of Americans for Financial Reform (AFR), we write today to ask you to ensure appropriate regulatory oversight of derivatives transactions conducted through foreign subsidiaries of multinational Wall Street banks. In particular, we urge you to prevent the inappropriate classification of such derivatives as ‘non-guaranteed’ by the parent company, a classification which could exempt them from numerous critical derivatives regulations.”

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AFR in the News: Growing Push to Stop Payday Loan Debt Trap (North Dallas Gazette)

“Broad consensus on the real-life harms caused by these lending products has united consumers in all 50 states and forged an unprecedented call of concern linking 467 organizations including civil rights leaders, clergy, labor, veterans, elder and consumer advocates. Pending legislation and an upcoming rule by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) together triggered a deluge of advocacy with a single purpose: stop the debt trap of triple-digit interest rates on a range of predatory products like payday, car title and high-cost installment loans.”

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New AFR Report: Where They Stand on Financial Reform

“Surveys show high levels of voter support for tougher rules; apart from the Senate’s confirmation of two notable regulatory officials, however, most of last year’s congressional votes on such matters were over efforts to reverse or water down reforms already enacted into law. And while some legislators resisted those efforts and continued to press for more industry accountability, many others – particularly in the House – threw their weight behind a series of proposals to weaken existing rules or to undermine the agencies charged with implementing them.”

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Who Do They Represent, Anyway?

The House of Representatives plans to vote this week on the so-called “Consumer Financial Protection and Soundness Improvement Act” (HR 3193). This bill is a gift to the worst elements of Wall Street and the financial industry, whose tricks and traps cost American families tens of billions of dollars a year. If enacted into law, HR 3193 would invite a resurgence of the abusive and deceptive lending that was one of the leading causes of the financial crisis that nearly capsized the U.S. economy five-and-a-half years ago.

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CFPB Study Highlights Some of the Many Problems With Forced Arbitration

“In arbitration, there is no publicly accountable judge, jury, or right to an appeal. The arbitrators do not have to follow the facts or the law, and there is no public review of decisions to ensure the arbitrator got it right. Moreover, contracts typically name the arbitration firm that must be used—the one preferred by the company.”

Wall Street

An Unfinished Mission: Making Wall Street Work for All of Us

“We should not accept a financial system that allows the biggest banks to emerge from a crisis in record-setting shape while working Americans continue to struggle.” – Senator Elizabeth Warren speaking at the launch event for a new AFR/Roosevelt Institute report on the state of financial reform.

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“Opening Wall Street’s Black Box” – Pathways to Improved Financial Transparency

After the 2008 crisis, it became clear that regulators and many sophisticated market participants had been kept in the dark about major risks and exposures in our financial system. On October 11, 2013, AFR and Georgetown Law Center co-hosted this half-day conference on the progress made – and the work that remains to be done – toward meaningful transparency on Wall Street.