News Archives » Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act
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)
Investors Support Conflict Mineral Rule June 3rd, 2013
The Missionary Oblates JPIC office has joined other investors in supporting a U.S. law aimed at preventing trade in conflict minerals from the Democratic Republic of Congo. The investors statement supporting the final rule by the SEC on Section 1502 of the Dodd-Frank legislation says, “Given that the long standing conflict in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) has claimed more than five million lives and contributed to egregious human rights abuses such as rape, child soldiers, and slave labor, we believe companies must disclose their use of conflict minerals.”
Some manufacturers and business associations have sued the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) on the Section 1502 rule.
Oblates Join Multi-Stakeholder Group Opposing Industry Challenge to Conflict Minerals Rule November 19th, 2012
The organizations in the MSG consist of faith based investors, asset management groups, large corporations, and NGOs. The objective is to reiterate the commitment to eliminating the link between violence and human rights abuses in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, in the face of the petition recently filed by three trade associations in Washington, DC.
The MSG agrees that an important part of the solution to ending violence in the region is a responsible mineral sourcing process, and pledges to continue to work toward this goal.
Multi-stakeholder statement here.
Oblate JPIC supports Congo Conflict-free Minerals Initiative June 28th, 2011
A workshop on the extractives industry supply chain on June 20th in northern Virginia pulled together more than 80 participants, including representatives from central African governments, the high-tech industry, mining companies, NGOs, and faith based investors, to discuss responsible mineral sourcing from Africa. Freeport McMoRan, Dell, Microsoft, Advanced Micro Devices, Sony and HP were come of the companies attending. Faith Responsible and Socially Responsible investors included the Interfaith Center on Corporate Responsibility (ICCR), Boston Common Asset Management, Trillium Asset Management and members of the Congo Global Coalition.
The workshop was organized by Global e-Sustainability Initiative (GeSI) and the Electronic Industry Coalition (EICC). Apart from the overall usefulness of the meeting, it provided an opportunity for JPIC staff to meet with representatives of companies whom we engage in shareholder dialogues on sustainability issues.
The roundtable discussions focused on responsible mineral sourcing from the Democratic Republic of Congo and neighboring Central Africa countries. Minerals extracted from eastern Congo, mostly the ores that produce tin, tantalum, tungsten – the 3Ts – are essential to the electronics devices we use every day. Unfortunately, some of these minerals have been contributing to violent conflict in Eastern Congo.
The GeSI and EICC workshop was designed to develop a fuller understanding of the issues associated with conflict minerals and the efforts to stop their use in manufacturing. The discussion addressed the Dodd-Frank conflict minerals disclosure law, OECD Due Diligence and the EICC-GeSi conflict free smelter program. Following the workshop, JPIC staff participated in an investors’ meeting with the Security and Exchange Commission staff (SEC) in which the discussion focused on maintaining the protections on sourcing, designed to prevent the use of conflict minerals, written into the Dodd-Frank legislation.
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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A Big Victory for Congo and Extractive Industries Transparency in the US Financial Reform Bill July 16th, 2010
On July 15, the United States Senate voted 60-39 to approve the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act. President Obama is expected to sign the measure into law next week. While the text of the financial reform act fills more than 2,300 pages, the many rules and regulations needed to implement it have not yet been written. This work by U.S. regulators is expected to take months, possibly years.
The legislation included an important provision requiring energy and mining companies to disclose how much they pay to foreign countries and the U.S. government for oil, gas, and minerals. The provision, based on the Energy Security through Transparency Act (S. 1700), will require companies registered with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) to disclose payments to foreign governments for the commercial development of oil, natural gas, and minerals. This disclosure will apply to all companies filing with the SEC, regardless of where they are based, meaning that most of the world’s top extractive industries would be covered by this law.
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