Arkansas and Derivatives

More

When Arkansas Lt. Gov. Bill Halter forced a runoff in the Arkansas Democratic Senate primary on May 18, it looked as if the labor movement might just force a revamping of how derivatives are bought and sold on Wall Street--more importantly, who buys and sells them.


Sen. Blanche Lincoln had proposed a tough amendment that would spin off derivatives operations from commercial banks. Just before her primary, as she led in polls and was expected to cruise to victory, Sen. Chris Dodd introduced an amendment that would weaken it; the press caught on late, and it looked like Dodd was removing the provision now that Lincoln was out of political danger in her primary. Well, with organized labor spending millions to back Halter, Lincoln failed to reach 50% of the vote, and her primary battle continued, and Halter gained some key momentum. Dodd then pulled his amendment, essentially putting Lincoln's get-tough measure back in. The political danger was back, thanks to labor's campaigning, and so was Lincoln's measure to crack down on the Wall Street derivatives trade.

Tonight, Halter and Lincoln will square off for the finale.

So where does that leave us now? Daniel Indiviglio, over at the Business Channel, says tonight's results--quite anticlimactically given the drama surrounding Lincoln's amendment, and all the imputations of political motive--won't actually change derivatives or financial reform at all.

Which makes for a less exciting ending to a fairly good political story.

For more on the amendment, the dynamics of the race, and why Democrats do and don't want to include it in the final bill, see Dan's breakdown.
Jump to comments
Presented by

Chris Good is a political reporter for ABC News. He was previously an associate editor at The Atlantic and a reporter for The Hill.

Get Today's Top Stories in Your Inbox (preview)

Is Technology Making Us Better Storytellers?

How have stories changed in the age of social media? The minds behind House of Cards, This American Life, and The Moth discuss.


Join the Discussion

After you comment, click Post. If you’re not already logged in you will be asked to log in or register. blog comments powered by Disqus

Video

Is Technology Making Us Better Storytellers?

The minds behind House of Cards and The Moth weigh in.

Video

A Short Film That Skewers Hollywood

A studio executive concocts an animated blockbuster. Who cares about the story?

Video

In Online Dating, Everyone's a Little Bit Racist

The co-founder of OKCupid shares findings from his analysis of millions of users' data.

Video

What Is a Sandwich?

We're overthinking sandwiches, so you don't have to.

Video

Let's Talk About Not Smoking

Why does smoking maintain its allure? James Hamblin seeks the wisdom of a cool person.

Writers

Up
Down

More in Politics

Just In