Financial derivatives are extremely complicated financial instruments used to speculate on the future value of an asset. In other words, Wall Street uses derivatives to gamble. It was this kind of gambling that led to the collapse of Bear Stearns and Lehman Brothers and brought the U.S. financial system to its knees.
But after everything we have been through, very little has been done to change the system. The $590 trillion - yes trillion - derivatives market is still largely unregulated, opaque, and poses an enormous risk to our financial future.
This is "casino capitalism," and the first step to reform is to treat derivatives trading for what it is - gambling. That is why I have introduced legislation to allow state gaming authorities to regulate derivatives markets.
Please sign the petition and show your support for regulating derivatives markets.
This is not a new concept. Until 2000, this is exactly how derivative trading was regulated. At that time Congress granted an exemption from gaming laws for derivative markets and opened the door for the irresponsible speculation that nearly destroyed the U.S. financial system. My bill would repeal this exemption and help avoid repeating our past mistakes.
This is going to be an uphill battle. Derivatives regulation may be one of the most complicated issues Congress must tackle to restore true stability to our financial system. Wall Street has some of the most highly paid and highly skilled lobbyists on Capitol Hill. They will continue to exploit the complexity and simply say, "this is impossible for you to understand, just let us self-regulate." This is exactly what happened last week in the House of Representatives, when lobbyists successfully inserted several terrifying loopholes in the House financial reform bill.
The only way we can overcome this massive opposition is with massive popular support -- and that starts with you. Financial reform is making its way to the Senate floor. Now is the time to regulate and now is the time for you to make your voice heard.
Please sign the petition today.