CMC meets with Sens. Corker and Crapo

Last week, CMC met with two influential Senators in the financial and economic realm. They are Sen. Bob Corker (Republican – Tennessee) and Sen. Mike Crapo (Republican – Idaho), both of whom are senior members of the Banking Committee.

Sen. Corker devoted much of his time to discussing budget/debt issues, although he was also asked a few questions by the intimate audience on energy, financial and political topics. CMC brought up the issue of derivatives regulation – specifically how the CFTC is imposing onerous rules on industry here in the US, and is not paying heed to the need for international coordination with foreign regulators, most of whom are either far behind the CFTC in their regulatory agenda or do not share the CFTC’s heavy-handed perspectives on policy and regulatory matters. Sen. Corker suggested that it would be a good time for the Banking Committee to have conversations with Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner and other regulators (e.g. CFTC, SEC, etc.) on this topic. CMC offered to assist Mr. Corker and his staff in preparing for such conversations as needed.

Sen. Crapo also spoke at length about budgetary and fiscal issues, specifically commenting on the “Gang of 6” negotiations on Capitol Hill. Being a strong conservative, he emphasized that he would refuse to vote affirmatively on any bill that raises the debt ceiling if such bill doesn’t cut government spending very deeply. However, he did signal an openness to compromise by indicating that he is not against the idea of “revenue raisers” that are not direct hikes in marginal tax rates (i.e. he would not be opposed to ending subsidies and closing tax loopholes). He said that if the House Republicans vote against a debt ceiling increase, they would be making a political mistake. When CMC asked him about derivatives issues, he voiced concern that the derivatives space is being overregulated by American regulators and said that the Banking Committee continues to monitor this realm.

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