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More Trouble Signs for Film Trading

Federal regulators have approved two exchanges designed to trade in film futures, but there’s now big question as to whether it will ever see the light of day.

Sen. Blanche Lincoln’s Wall Street Transparency and Accountability Act, which passed the Senate Agriculture Committee today, is aimed at regulation of derivatives, and it includes a provision that bans trading based on weekend box office receipts. The Motion Picture Assn. of America has been lobbying heavily against it.

It’s still a big question as to whether that provision will survive in a final version of financial reform — although the provision wasn’t even mentioned in Wednesday’s Agriculture Commiteee meeting, ostensibly good news for the MPAA. On Thursday, the team behind the Trend Exchange and the Cantor Exchange will get their chance to explain their proposals, and to make the case that there’s a difference between the types of derivatives currently being demonized and the contracts that they are proposing. There’s never been any question that the film futures contracts would fall under the oversight of the Commodity Futures Trading Commission.

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