Movie futures trading ban sent to Congress

Trading commission OK'd 2 proposed futures exchanges, but Senate bill could derail plans

By TheWrap Apr 21, 2010 2:52PM

A day after the second movie-futures trading exchange received federal approval, the whole financial endeavor hit a major roadblock.


Legislation banning Wall Street trading of movie box office futures has been sent to the Senate floor, as part of the Wall Street Transparency and Accounting Act.


It could be voted on by the Senate as early as Thursday.


The whole issue of futures trading tied to domestic box office performance, which became publicly visible only in the last few months, was expected to sail smoothly to approval. In fact, trading was supposed to have already begun.


But it's now close to being derailed by opposition from Congress and Hollywood.


On Wednesday morning, the Senate Agriculture Committee -- without talking at all about the movie issue -- on a 13-to-8 vote sent legislation to the Senate floor banning the Commodities Futures Trading Commission from approving film-futures trading.


The ban is only a small component of a much broader reforms package attempting to put tighter restrictions and apply greater transparency to the kinds of exotic derivatives products that led to the near-collapse of Wall Street 18 months ago.


The Senate is due to begin consideration of a different package of Wall Street reforms offered by Banking Committee Chairman Christopher Dodd, D-Conn., as soon as Thursday.


Agriculture Committee chairman Blanche Lincoln, D-Ark. -- who introduced the movie-trading ban into the legislation last week -- said Wednesday that she expects the two measures to be merged. Jim Manley, an aide to Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., said no final decision has yet been made.


Read more at TheWrap.


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