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Public Statements

Swap Jurisdiction Certainty Act

Floor Speech

Location: Washington, DC


Mr. AL GREEN of Texas. Mr. Speaker, the question before us is whether we will outsource American economic stability in this quadrillion-dollar derivatives market to foreign subsidiaries of American companies. Will we outsource this quadrillion-dollar market?

Now, a quadrillion is a big number. If you stack dollar bills one on the other, a quadrillion will take you all of the way from the Earth to the Sun. It's important for us to remember that AIG outsourced to a foreign subsidiary. It was in London. And, of course, we know what happened with AIG.

Finally, I will say this. We're trying to jump-start the economy, it seems. We have to be careful what we do when we try these jump starts because this derivatives market has within it interest rate derivatives. These derivatives, if there's a spike in interest rates, can have an enormous impact on the world's economy.

So let us be careful when we jump-start. Sometimes when we do common things, like jump-starting our cars, it works fine. But on other occasions, we can have an explosion. Let's be careful as we jump-start the derivatives market.


Mr. AL GREEN of Texas. Thank you, Madam Ranking Member.

It's important to note the amount in derivatives that we're talking about. We're talking about a quadrillion dollars--a quadrillion dollars--more than the entire economy of the world, a quadrillion dollars, and the impact a quadrillion dollars can have on the world's economy.

Some of this money is in interest rate derivatives. If there's a spike in interest rates, we're not sure what the ultimate impact on the world's economy will be. If I am wrong, everything will be all right; but if I'm right, everything will be all wrong, and it will be too late for us to take corrective action.


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