Another mystery bill! Guess we’ll have to pass financial reform so we can see what is in it

April 23, 2010 19:34

Financial reform’s complexity allows truth to stay hidden behind rhetoric – supposed authors can’t explain it

By Jon WardThe Daily Caller

Dear reader, are you having trouble understanding the debate in Congress over financial regulatory reform? Here’s why: even the people writing the legislation can’t explain it clearly.

Witness this exchange with Senate Agricultural Committee Chairman Blanche Lincoln, Arkansas Democrat, when she was asked about negotiations with Republicans on the derivatives portion of the bill.

THE DAILY CALLER: “What are the toughest [disagreements] that you’ve got to get through at this point? Think of the layman when you’re expressing—“


THE DC: Think of the layman, the man on the street, when you’re expressing the couple issues here, because I think a lot of people are trying to figure out what’s at issue here.

LINCOLN: Right. You bet. Well you know, looking at some of the bigger ones, we’re looking at the Forex exchange and how that happens. We’re looking at, in terms of the mandatory clearing and trading, that’s okay but we look at the end-user exemptions, some of those kind of things.

Forex is short for foreign exchange market. End-users are businesses that buy derivatives to hedge against future losses, such as a commercial farmer who buys wheat futures to lock in a guaranteed yield for at least a portion of his crop in case the weather ruins it.

If you’re already confused, don’t worry. You’re not alone. One senior House staffer, asked to estimate the number of people on Capitol Hill who fully understand the legislation, paused, and then replied, “About twelve.”

“If you’re talking about the full scope of the thing, maybe less,” he said. “The vast majority of it is anticipating events you can’t predict.”


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