Deal may force trading-desk spinoff

The tentative agreement reached by two key Democrats Sunday on a plan to crack down on trading in derivatives would potentially force banks to spin off their operations that trade the exotic financial instruments. The plan, worked out by Senate Banking chairman Chris Dodd (D-CT) and Senate Agriculture chairwoman Blanche Lincoln (D-AR) closely follows legislation—originally written by Lincoln—designed to boost federal oversight and transparency of the derivatives market. Some administration officials have argued the proposal drafted by Lincoln could hand control over the derivatives market into just a few companies, such as hedge funds.

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