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Thirty-eight faith-based and socially responsible institutional investors sent a letter to Senators who recently asked Treasury Secretary Jacob Lew to delay the implementation of important Dodd-Frank derivatives regulations. The Rev. Seamus Finn, OMI (Missionary Oblates of Mary Immaculate, and Board Director, the Interfaith Center on Corporate Responsibility) organized the letter, which expressed dismay and disappointment at the Senators’ action.
It is vital that the over-the-counter derivatives market be regulated, and soon. Derivatives are complex financial instruments used to hedge risk, and were largely responsible for the 2008 financial crisis.
In the lead up to 2008, large financial institutions bought and sold trillions of dollars worth of over-the-counter derivative instruments linked to subprime mortgage securities, which instruments would trigger a payout in the event of default. “This particular type of OTC derivative, known as a credit default swap (CDS), fomented the mortgage crisis and subsequent credit and economic crisis by offering purported “insurance” to people investing in subprime securities. This insurance fueled excessive risk-taking, demand, and expansion of the subprime market.” (Ref.: The Role of Derivatives in the Financial Crisis, Univ. of MD website)
Help Fight World Hunger This Thanksgiving November 23rd, 2010
1) Take action to counteract the massive presence of Wall Street lobbyists in Washington working to insure their profits at the expense of people – call your Senators and ask them to prevent excessive speculation in commodity markets.
At a time when we stop to remember how thankful we are for food on our plates, let’s help make sure that this is a reality for people everywhere. In 2008, price bubbles in food and energy prices led to $4 gasoline in the U.S. and forced over 130 million people world-wide to go hungry, according to the UN. An important factor behind those price bubbles was excessive speculation in the food and energy commodity markets.
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Urge Your Senator to Vote for Strong Financial Reform and Consumer Protections February 11th, 2010
Jim Wallis of Sojourners Magazine argues forcefully that now is the time to press our Senators to vote for strong financial reform and consumer protections. Blogging about an interview with Elizabeth Warren, the Harvard economist who is Chair of the TARP Congressional Oversight Panel, Wallis conveys her deep concern about the lack of regulation over the financial sector. As he writes, “She makes the urgent case for reform with the compelling analysis of a top economist, the family values of a grandmother, and the moral arguments of a person of faith.”