Agricultural/Financial correspondent
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Apr 20, 2010

Lincoln’s swaps bill finding support ahead of vote

WASHINGTON, April 20 (Reuters) – A sweeping regulatory
reform bill introduced by Senator Blanche Lincoln received
solid backing from fellow Democrats on Tuesday despite intense
opposition from a top Republican, one day before the measure
faces a vote by the Senate Agriculture Committee.

The bill, which Lincoln and other regulatory overhaul
supporters tout as the strongest reform package to date, would
toughen oversight of the $450 trillion over-the-counter
derivatives market by requiring most swaps to trade on
regulated exchanges and pass through clearinghouses.

Apr 17, 2010

Film futures market survives first hurdle

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The top U.S. futures regulator on Friday approved a new market that could one day be used to trade box-office receipts.

The mover brought closer a decision on whether traders will be able to speculate on the commercial success or failure of movies.

Apr 16, 2010

US CFTC to decide on box office-based derivatives

WASHINGTON, April 16 (Reuters) – A decision on whether
traders can speculate on the success of movies moved closer on
Friday when the top U.S. futures regulator approved a new
market that could one day be used to trade box-office
receipts.

The ruling under the Commodity Exchange Act is the first
hurdle Media Derivatives Inc needed to begin trading options or
futures contracts. The CFTC said it is still considering
whether to allow the firm to offer a contract tied to the box
office receipts of a movie, but commissioners so far do not
appear convinced the contracts will pass muster.

Apr 16, 2010

Senate bill takes tough line on banks, swaps

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Chairman Blanche Lincoln on Friday unveiled the Senate Agriculture Committee’s draft bill to regulate the $450 trillion over-the-counter derivatives market, taking a tougher tack against big banks than the Senate Banking Committee or House bills on the issue.

The bill, which would require banks to spin off swaps desks if they are protected by federal deposit insurance or access the Federal Reserve discount window, came on the same day the government leveled a major fraud charge against U.S. swaps dealer Goldman Sachs group Inc.

Apr 9, 2010

Food industry to Obama: we’ll improve nutrition

WASHINGTON, April 9 (Reuters) – The U.S. food industry
agrees the White House can take the lead on making healthier
school meals but said on Friday it could improve the food
available in stores without government intervention.

“The school environment is a special environment where
having a government play a role in setting the standards for
what’s sold makes sense,” Scott Faber, a vice president at the
Grocery Manufacturers Association (GMA), told reporters.

Apr 7, 2010

Humane Society finds abuse by U.S. egg producers

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – An undercover investigation by the Humane Society of the United States of major U.S. egg producers showed “rampant abuse” of hens, which the animal rights group said on Wednesday could prompt more consumers to embrace “cage-free” methods of production.

Footage collected in February and March by the group showed birds stuck in cages unable to reach food or water; dead hens, some of them rotting, amongst live birds; and manure pits that in at least one case had not been cleaned for two years.

Mar 23, 2010

Odds stacked against CFTC metals position limits

NEW YORK/WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The top U.S. futures regulator, which has struggled to gain support for a plan to curb concentration in energy markets, could face even tougher resistance on Thursday as it considers whether similar provisions are needed for metals.

The Commodity Futures Trading Commission will hold a day-long hearing to determine whether it needs to write a rule to create speculative position limits for gold, silver and copper markets to prevent price manipulation.

Mar 22, 2010

Tough road for metals position limits: Chilton

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The strongest proponent at the Commodity Futures Trading Commission for position limits said he does not think his fellow commissioners are currently willing to support a move to curb speculation for metals contracts.

Days before the top U.S. futures regulator holds a public hearing to explore whether position limits are needed for metals such as gold and silver, Bart Chilton — one of five CFTC commissioners — said he doubts whether there is enough support at the commission to advance beyond discussion to a proposal rule.

Mar 19, 2010

Once skeptical, Congress warms to CFTC’s Gensler

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Gary Gensler, who once supported market deregulation blamed for the recent financial meltdown, has been winning over members of Congress who had been skeptical of his ability to rein in Wall Street as the top U.S. futures regulator.

A former partner at Goldman Sachs, Gensler has quickly become a go-to guy for Congress as it navigates a sea of complex proposals to regulate the $300 trillion swaps market.

Mar 17, 2010

Congress to pass food safety law in 2010: DeLauro

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Congress will pass a new law to overhaul the antiquated U.S. food safety system by the end of the year, Rep. Rosa DeLauro, an influential House lawmaker, said on Wednesday.

“I have every confidence that we are going to pass food safety legislation and this legislation is going to get to the president for a signature and that that’s going to happen this year,” said DeLauro, chairman of the House Agriculture Appropriations Subcommittee.

    • About Christopher

      "Currently based in Washington, Christopher reports on agriculture in Congress and the U.S. Agriculture Department. He also is actively involved in covering regulatory reform, with a focus on the U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission."
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