Mr. Gramm. Mr. President, today I join with Senator Lugar, Chairman of the Senate Agriculture Committee, to introduce the Commodity Futures Modernization Act of 2000. The formal purpose of this legislation is to reauthorize the Commodity Exchange Act, the legal authority for the Commodity Futures Trading Commission. As important as that is, this legislation does far more.
This is a landmark bill, that addresses four chief goals that Senator Lugar and I set out to achieve when we first began discussing this legislation. First of all, this bill would repeal the so-called Shad-Johnson Accord, the 18-year old temporary prohibition on the trading of futures based on individual stocks. Second, the bill eliminates the legal uncertainty that today hangs as an ominous cloud over the $7 trillion financial swaps markets. Third, the bill addresses the need to harmonize the treatment of margins among the futures, stock, and options markets. Fourth, the bill provides important and necessary regulatory relief to the futures and securities markets.
One of the more notable aspects of this bill is that it brings together the chairmen of the two committees with jurisdiction over these issues, the Agriculture Committee and the Banking Committee. To start out with such cooperation speaks well, I believe, for the prospects for this legislation. While the Commodity Exchange Act is clearly within the jurisdiction of the Agriculture Committee, stocks, options, and swaps are within the jurisdiction of the Banking Committee.
The next step for this bill will be joint hearings of our two committees to consider it. Few bills are in a perfected form when first introduced, and I fully expect that additional changes will be made to this one before it becomes law. For example, I hope to see additional measures of regulatory relief for the securities markets included.
But this bill is a fine beginning, introduced in the best way. We bring together two committees that could choose to argue over turf but instead are choosing to cooperate to make changes in law that are needed to ensure that our financial market places continue to lead the world. At the same time, we will be providing the widest choice of investment opportunities for American businesses and families.
Home | Menu | Links | Info | Chairman's Page