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Swap Jurisdiction Certainty Act

Floor Speech

By:
Date:
Location: Washington, DC

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Ms. DeLAURO. I stand in strong opposition to this bill, which weakens Dodd-Frank regulations over derivatives markets and allows foreign banks and swaps traders to engage in the same risky behavior that caused an economic meltdown a few short years ago.

We are here to represent the American people, not the big banks. And after the 2008 financial crisis that triggered the worse recession since the Great Depression, the American people want to see more accountability from Wall Street, not less. That's why we passed Dodd-Frank in the first place, to end dangerous speculation by financial institutions and prevent more bailouts.

The bill before us tries to exempt from oversight any swap transaction in which one of the parties is not based in the United States. In other words, it effectively guts the derivatives regulation in the Dodd-Frank Act.

When AIG nearly destroyed the economy, their affiliate was based out of London as a branch of a French-registered bank. Lehman Brothers had 3,300 legal entities here and abroad when it failed. Citigroup set up numerous structured investment vehicles overseas to move positions off its balance sheet. But when those investments were about to fail, Citigroup in the U.S. assumed the huge debt, and was ultimately bailed out by U.S. taxpayers.

The notion that we should let big banks evade Dodd-Frank oversight if they set up a subsidiary in another major economy first is absurd. A vote for this bill is a vote for more risky derivatives transactions, more bad behavior, and more bailouts. I urge my colleagues to stand up for the American people, the American taxpayers, and vote this down.

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