Don’t Let Wall Street Offshore Its Recklessness

Cross border

Much of the reckless gambling that caused the financial meltdown of 2008 took place outside U.S. borders. AIG received a $160 billion taxpayer bailouts for derivatives trades made in London. Bear Stearns was brought down by the failure of hedge funds based in the Cayman Islands. And more recently, JP Morgan’s “London Whale” lost billions on derivatives trades.

This is why the Dodd-Frank Act called for regulation of all derivatives trades that have “a direct and significant connection with” U.S. commerce. And it’s why the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) has followed the law by drafting rules that cover all derivatives transactions, wherever they occur, with the potential to damage our financial security.

But now Wall Street is leaning on Congress to limit enforcement to derivatives traders physically based in this country. HR 1256, the “Swaps Jurisdiction Certainty Act,” would open a major escape hatch in financial reform. This bill would make it much easier for our biggest banks, which routinely channel their transactions through foreign markets, to escape U.S. oversight.

HR 1256 is set for a vote today – Wednesday, June 12. So there’s no time to waste.

Tell your representative to Vote No on HR 1256, a bill that would inevitably lead to a new surge of Wall Street recklessness.

Click here for the name and phone number of your House member.  Or dial the Capitol switchboard at 202-225-3121.