Senators soften on banks

TWO Democrat politicians have indicated they will soften their position on tough new derivatives laws as the US financial reform bill moves into its final week in the Senate.

Chris Dodd, chairman of the Senate banking committee, and Blanche Lincoln, chairman of the agriculture committee, hinted a compromise could be agreed with the banking industry on proposals to force institutions to separate off their swaps desks.

President Barack Obama is determined to push through a heavy legislative crackdown on Wall Street after successfully voting through his healthcare reform bill. The financial industry is frenetically lobbying against the harsher measures being put forward.

Dodd said he was “confident we can allay a lot of concerns”, while Lincoln was open to “better” ideas.