And the reporting here is pretty amazing. I have no idea how the Times got possession of this email, showing how the big boys employed some subterfuge to wrest control of a broader trade group’s agenda:

Mr. Rosen, co-author of a treatise on derivatives regulation, frequently counsels the industry on these complex contracts. In late January, according to e-mail messages, he asked the members of the CDS dealer group if they would support his testifying before Congress on behalf of the Securities Industry and Financial Markets Association, a trade group. The CDS dealers are a much smaller group with a far larger interest in derivatives than Sifma as a whole.

Mr. Rosen received an e-mail response from Mary Whalen, managing director for public policy at Credit Suisse, the Swiss bank, which is active in the derivatives market:. “It is a good idea for Ed to write the testimony and if necessary testify. That way we can be sure that the banks’ point of view is expressed, rather than taking a chance on testimony that Sifma might craft.”

Sifma’s members include 650 firms of varying size and interests, many of which do not trade complex derivatives.

Have fun at the next Sifma convention, Mary.

And how about this?

(Minnesota Democrat Collin) Peterson’s bill specifically bars derivatives trading in a clearinghouse regulated by the New York Federal Reserve, which he said in an interview “is a tool of the big banks” that “wouldn’t do much” to regulate the contracts.

Because the banks’ lobbyists persuaded some of his Republican colleagues to resist more sweeping changes, Mr. Peterson said, he has had to modify a bill he introduced that is similar to Mr. Harkin’s in calling for wide-ranging limits on derivatives.

“The banks run the place,” Mr. Peterson said. “I will tell you what the problem is — they give three times more money than the next biggest group. It’s huge the amount of money they put into politics.”

And that’s not the only really aggressive quote the piece has. It really does anything but fall into the he said/she said trap.

It’s just an excellent piece of reporting by the Times. Read the entire thing.

Ryan Chittum is a former Wall Street Journal reporter, and deputy editor of The Audit, CJR's business section. If you see notable business journalism, give him a heads-up at