Regulating Financial Weapons of Mass Destruction

The Obama Administration unveiled its proposed regulatory legislation for derivatives yesterday.  This legislation is the centerpiece of the financial regulatory overhaul due to the role derivatives played in the recent economic meltdown.  The new legislation to be considered by Congress aims to prevent future abuse of derivatives and, as a result, decrease the systemic risks posed by these markets.  Here is a summary of the goals of the legislation.

As part of the Administration’s proposed legislation, credit default swap markets and all other OTC derivative markets will be subject to comprehensive regulation in order to:

  1. Guard against activities in those markets posing excessive risk to the financial system
  2. Promote the transparency and efficiency of those markets
  3. Prevent market manipulation, fraud, insider trading, and other market abuses
  4. Block OTC derivatives from being marketed inappropriately to unsophisticated parties

These goals will be reached through comprehensive regulation that includes:

  1. Regulation of OTC derivative markets
  2. Regulation of all OTC Derivative dealers and other major market participants
  3. Preventing market manipulation, fraud, insider trading, and other market abuses
  4. Protecting unsophisticated investors

While the goals are clear, the methods to regulate are less so.  Responsibility for enforcement of the new regulations will be assigned to multiple agencies and may over time prove to be less than effective.  Warren Buffett famously described derivatives as “financial weapons of mass destruction”.  Given the size and magnitude of the markets to be regulated, the accountability for enforcement should be strengthened to ensure proper oversight of these potentially deadly securities.



About Wheelhouse Advisors
Wheelhouse Advisors LLC is the publisher of The ERM Current™, an online publication and blog dedicated to providing the latest updates on current trends in Enterprise Risk Management & Control. Wheelhouse Advisors provides cost-effective Enterprise Risk Management & Control solutions to both large and mid-size corporations. To learn more about Wheelhouse Advisors, please visit our web site at

2 Responses to Regulating Financial Weapons of Mass Destruction

  1. Gary Taylor says:

    if u look close enough there is a clown face!

  2. harry says:

    i think that the picture looks a bit like a clown in some ways because the face is in the middle and the hair around the outside. the clown is pocking its toung out and the eyes are at the top of the middle cloud. i know it sounds strange but thats what i saw after looking at it for a while

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