5.4.2009 Senators Carl Levin and Susan Collins introduced legislation that would allow the SEC, the CFTC and the FDIC to regulate swaps agreements.

A swaps is an agreement between two parties placing a bet on future cash flows. Some swaps bet on whether a stock price, interest rate, commodity price or currency value will rise or fall; others bet on whether a company will default on payment of a bond. Stock price bets are referred to as equity swaps; bets on whether companies will pay their debts are referred to as credit default swaps.

According to the latest data compiled by the Bank for International Settlements, as of June 2008, worldwide swaps markets included credit default swaps with a total notional value of $57 trillion, commodity swaps with a notional value of $13 trillion, equity swaps with a notional value of $10 trillion, foreign currency swaps with a notional value of $62 trillion, and interest rate swaps with a notional value of $458 trillion.

Click http://levin.senate.gov/newsroom/release.cfm?id=312437 to access a press release about the bill.