WASHINGTON - Rep. Thomas Ewing, R-Ill., is expected to introduce a bill next week that would exclude swaps and other over-the-counter derivatives from federal regulation.
Republican Sens. Phil Gramm of Texas and Richard J. Lugar of Indiana had been expected to introduce similar legislation in the Senate on Thursday, but a debate between the Securities and Exchange Commission and the Commodity Futures Trading Commission over other regulatory matters in the bill has held it up. The senators plan to offer it within two weeks.
In the past, the Commodity Futures Trading Commission has argued that it has the legal authority to regulate swaps because they are futures contracts. But current chairman William J. Rainer and heads of other financial regulatory agencies have disagreed and said swaps should remain unregulated.
Bankers and others who engage in swaps trading are concerned that future CFTC chairmen could require that these products be traded on a public exchange overseen by the federal government. They would like the "legal certainty" that codification of swaps' exclusion from CFTC oversight would give.