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SPEECHES & TESTIMONY

  • Opening Statement of Commissioner Jill E. Sommers Before the Global Markets Advisory Committee, Washington, DC

    December 9, 2009

    Good afternoon. Thank you for joining us today at the 13th meeting of the Global Markets Advisory Committee. This advisory committee was created in 1998 to “report and make recommendations to the Commission … to be utilized by the Commission to obtain input on international market issues that affect the integrity and competitiveness of U.S. markets and U.S. firms engaged in global business.” It is interesting to look back at the agendas of the past 11 years to note that in June of 2004, the discussion revolved around “global clearing and regulatory coordination between nations.” While the issues we are struggling with today have been brought into focus by the financial crisis that unfolded over the past year, it is somewhat daunting to remember these issues have been at the forefront of importance with respect to the futures markets for many years.

    We are meeting today to obtain the views of Committee members on bankruptcy issues, with an emphasis on how the insolvency regime in the U.S. compared to the insolvency regime in the U.K. particularly the case of the bankruptcy of Lehman Brothers Holdings and Lehman Brothers International Europe. We will also discuss global financial regulatory reform. This dialogue could not come at a more crucial time for market regulators as we consider the proposals for harmonizing regulation and closing regulatory gaps. Policy makers face the challenge of reshaping financial market oversight to better serve the public by strengthening regulation where needed and eliminating inefficiencies where possible. The questions surrounding most issues are enormously complex and require thoughtful resolutions. Comprehensive financial reform will not be easy, but it is moving forward, and I believe reform is important to restore confidence in the system.

    International coordination is also essential to ensure comprehensive regulation of the over-the-counter derivatives markets. We must not leave gaps in our regulatory structure that allow traders to evade one country’s regulations by taking their business elsewhere. The Commission has been working not only with our fellow regulators here in the U.S., but with our international counterparts to prevent opportunities for regulatory arbitrage. Through discussions with regulators in Europe, we have found that proposals in the U.S. and Europe are complementary.

    With us today is David Wright, Deputy Director-General for Internal Market and Services of the European Commission, to discuss issues of mutual importance to U.S. and European policy makers. Joining Mr. Wright is Patrick Pearson, Head of Financial Markets Infrastructure of the European Commission, Sebastijan Hrovatin, Administrator of Financial Markets Infrastructure of the European Commission, and Peter Kerstens, First Counselor of Economics and Finance with the Delegation of the European Union to the United States. The Commission is honored to be hosting our colleagues from the EC and we hope for a productive discussion comparing and contrasting the European derivatives proposals with U.S. proposals.

    Last Updated: June 11, 2010



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