Monday, 14 March 2011

Industry inspired amendments defeated

On March 7, MEPs in the Parliament's economic affairs committee voted down the vast majority of the amendments inspired by the derivatives industry. This was thanks to the compromise amendments proposed by the rapporteur Pascal Canfin.

The MEPs proposed specific measures to stop the irresponsible practice of trading naked sovereign debt instruments (including CDS) opposing what was proposed by the Federation of European Securities Exchanges and other lobby groups linked with the derivatives industry.

The derivatives lobby may have had influential friends such as London conservative Syed Kamall and Swedish Liberal Olle Schmidt and others but they failed to delay the proposals to introduce sanctions against traders who fail to settle their payments - as had been proposed by the European Central Securities Depositories Association (ESCDA) and other financial lobby groups.

MEPs appear to be moving in the right direction, checking the excessive influence that has been exercised by the financial industry within the European institutions. This excessive influence resulted in the current inadequate regulatory and supervisory structure which brought us into the current economic crisis paid today by the vast majority of citizens but yet not by those who created it.

MEPs will have another opportunity to demonstrate their break with the culture of ''big finance knows best'' on April 20 when they will vote on the regulation of Over the Counter (OTC) derivatives - they must vote in the interests of the citizens they represent.

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