US Senate Democrats Reach Tentative Deal On Derivatives

By Victoria McGrane
Dow Jones Newswires

Key Senate Democrats have reached a tentative deal on sweeping new rules for the derivatives market that is expected to force major Wall Street banks to spin off their swaps desks, according to two Democratic officials.

The framework deal between Senate Banking Chairman Christopher Dodd and Agriculture Chairwoman Blanche Lincoln clears the way for all 59 Senate Democrats to support the financial-overhaul bill, which could face a test vote as early as Monday.

Under the deal, the derivatives portion of the bill will include a controversial provision that would force banks to spin off their swap desks to be eligible for federal financial assistance from the Federal Reserve and Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. The spin-off provision was part of a derivatives bill passed by the Agriculture panel last week, with the support of one Republican.

Overall, the derivatives language in the financial-overhaul bill headed to the floor this week is expected to closely resemble the Agriculture Committee bill.

(Damian Paletta and Greg Hitt contributed to this story)

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