New derivatives legislation "was probably written by JPMorgan and Goldman Sachs"
Who drafted this dubious piece of legislation? Bankers (or their lawyers) did. The leading sellers of derivatives are an exclusive club of five very large financial institutions--Citigroup, JPMorgan Chase, Bank of America, Morgan Stanley and Goldman Sachs--that hold 95 percent of the derivatives exposure among the largest banks (the total contract value exceeds $290 trillion). These are the same folks who toppled the global economy and compelled government to intervene with gigantic bailouts.
Michael Greenberger, a University of Maryland law professor and veteran federal regulator, studied the House committee's 187-page bill and detected the fine needlework of Wall Street lawyers. "It had to be written by someone inside the banks," Greenberger said, "because buried every few pages is a tricky and devilish 'exception.' It would greatly surprise me if these poison pills originated from anyone on Capitol Hill or the Treasury."
A well-informed Congressional source confirmed that the original language in the draft legislation was written by financial-industry experts. It "was probably written by JPMorgan and Goldman Sachs," he told me, "and possibly the Chicago Mercantile Exchange." The Chicago exchange trades commodity futures--hog bellies, beef, grains--and more exotic derivatives. It is a rival to Wall Street but very close to agribusiness interests like Cargill, the giant grain trader, that make heavy use of derivatives.