House looks to chip away at Dodd-Frank requirements on swaps, derivatives
The House on Monday is expected to pass two bills that would ease the new regulatory requirements put in place by the Dodd-Frank financial reform law regarding swaps and derivatives.
While Republicans have led most attacks on Dodd-Frank, the two bills up today are supported by both parties, and are likely to be approved under a suspension of House rules, which requires a two-thirds majority.
One of the bills, from Rep. Steve Stivers (R-Ohio), would exempt inter-affiliate swaps from some regulatory requirements under Dodd-Frank. Inter-affiliate swaps are the exchange of financial derivatives that allow companies under a common corporate ownership to move risk around, and are seen as far less risky to the broader market than swaps between unrelated companies.
Under the bill, H.R. 2779, these swaps would still have to be reported, but margin and capital requirements, and real-time reporting requirements, would not have to be followed.
A second bill, H.R. 2682, is the Business Risk Mitigation and Price Stabilization Act, from Rep. Michael Grimm (R-N.Y.). The aim of this bill is to exempt companies that use derivatives trades to help manage business risks from some of the new derivatives requirements under Dodd-Frank.
According to supporters of this bill, these companies use derivatives to help manage risks related to fluctuating interest rates and price swings, and not to speculate. As a result, the bill would allow these "true end-users" to be exempt from Dodd-Frank rules relating to margin requirements, which can make it harder for these companies to run their businesses, expand and hire new workers.
This bill also enjoys bipartisan support, and is co-sponsored by Reps. Bill Owens (D-N.Y.), Gary Peters (D-Mich.) and Austin Scott (R-Ga.).
The House on Monday will also pass a third bill related to Dodd-Frank, H.R. 4014. That bill, from Rep. Bill Huizenga (R-Mich.), is aimed at clarifying that companies submitting confidential information to the new Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) do not waive any legal privileges they have related to that information.
The bill is essentially a technical fix that allows CFPB to keep the information it receives as privileged information. The CFPB has said it was preparing a rule to make this the case anyway, but the bill would cement this decision into law.