In a big win for business, the Treasury proposed on Friday to exempt commonly used foreign exchange swaps and forwards from the most onerous new rules for the derivatives market.
The Treasury Department said that forcing these financial products through clearinghouses and onto exchanges was not necessary because existing procedures in the foreign exchange market mitigate risk and ensure stability.
Any disruptions to this market "could have serious negative economic consequences," the department said.
The business community applauded Treasury's decision and said the government recognized that the products did not pose a risk to the financial system.
Foreign exchange swaps and forwards, which represent about 5 percent of the $600 trillion over-the-counter derivatives market, are used by a wide range of companies to lock in prices as protection against exchange rate fluctuations.
Businesses, big banks and the securities industry had furiously lobbied the Obama administration
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