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House moves toward easing some financial rules

WASHINGTON (AP) – The House is nearing bipartisan approval of two bills easing requirements that President Barack Obama’s overhaul of financial regulations imposes on some exotic financial instruments.

Both bills are expected to pass easily later Monday. Lawmakers say they are relaxing rules that could otherwise inhibit companies’ profits and ability to create jobs, but consumer groups say relaxing the rules would be too risky.

The instruments are called derivatives, which have been blamed for helping to trigger the 2008 financial crisis. Derivatives are assets tied to the value of commodities or investments.

One measure would exempt some derivative trades between related companies from requirements that they set aside money to cover possible losses. The other provides similar exemptions to companies that use the commodity tied to the derivative, such as airline fuel.

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