Senate kills movie futures trading
The Senate drove the final stake through the heart of a proposed pair of financial exchanges that would have allowed the public to wager on the performance of Hollywood movies on Thursday. A wide-ranging financial reform package, which included a ban on movie futures trading, passed with a 60-39 vote. The bill will now go to President Obama for signing. In a statement following the vote, Bob Pisano, interim head of the Motion Pictures Association of America (MPAA), which has been vehemently opposed to the markets all along, said, “Speaking on behalf of a coalition that includes the Directors Guild of America (DGA), the Independent Film and Television Alliance (IFTA), the International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees (IATSE), the Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA) and its member companies, and the National Association of Theater Owners (NATO), I want to thank Congress for approving this measure.”
Pisano added, “Congress has acted decisively to ban proposed trading in box office futures and to make important reforms in the country’s financial regulatory system. We applaud the work the bill’s authors have done, and of course, the many Senators and Members who supported the provisions to prevent movie futures trading.”
The vote, in effect, kills the efforts by Cantor Fitzgerald’s Cantor Exchange and Media Derivatives’ Trend Exchange to create online trading based on the box-office performances of Hollywood films — efforts that were in the works for years. It also signals a huge win for the MPAA (and the six major studios it represents), who claimed that the approval of movie futures trading would severely damage the movie industry.
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