How Derivatives Changed the “Business of Banking”

Saule T. Omarova, Cornell Law School, examines interpretive letters issued by the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC), the primary regulator of federally chartered U.S. banks, interpreting the National Bank Act of 1863 to allow banks to trade and deal in derivatives, potentially complex and risky financial instruments once famously characterised by Warren Buffet as ‘financial weapons of mass destruction.”

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