The U.S. Treasury Department is opposing a number of proposals that would alter new derivatives regulations in the Dodd- Frank Wall Street Reform Act.
Jack Lew, the Treasury Secretary, urged lawmakers against altering the Dodd-Frank Act in a letter addressed to House Financial Services Committee Chairman Jeb Hensarling (R-Texas), claiming that the changes would only serve to weaken the overhaul.
“The derivatives provisions in the Wall Street Reform Act constitute an important part of the reforms being put in place to strengthen our financial system by improving transparency and reducing risks for market participants,” Lew said. “These reforms should not be weakened or repealed.”
Lew’s letter came a day before Tuesday’s Hensarling’s committee vote on seven bill which would alter or repeal portions of the Dodd-Frank Act cracking down on derivatives.
According to The Huffington Post, the proposed bills that will be debated include, “measures put in place to restrict taxpayer exposure to derivatives-dealing banks and to limit the risk posed by swaps taking place overseas.”
One of the bills would allow foreign entities to be exempted from U.S. derivatives regulations if the regulations required by the home nation are “broadly equivalent” to the requirements of the U.S. Such a bill would limit the power of the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) and negate the agency’s recent attempts to regulate overseas derivatives.
In the letter, Lew also warned against alterations to Dodd-Frank, arguing that regulators are already making attempts to address the concerns that these bills proposed. “Regulators are already addressing many of the issues presented in these bills through their rule-makings,” Lew said. “In many instances, legislation is premature and aspects would be disruptive and harmful.”
CFTC chairman Gary Gensler has repeatedly cautioned of the risks the U.S. financial system will face if overseas branches and guaranteed affiliates of U.S. banks are not subject to U.S. regulations. Gensler has stated that subjecting the U.S. to such risks would “come crashing back to our economy.”