Q. What do tin, tantalum, tungsten and gold have in common?

A. The Dodd-Frank Financial Reform Act.

Now that this bill has passed we can see what is in it as well.  And, one of its provisions is a bit a bit puzzling, given the stated purpose of the bill.

Under the new law, public companies using any of the four minerals from [parts of the Democratic Republic of Congo or neighboring countries] must report what steps they have taken to verify the minerals weren’t taxed or controlled by rebel groups.

Tin, tantalum and gold are used in many electronic devices including computers and televisions, and tungsten is used in ball point pens and drill bits.

Aside from the fact that the part of Africa where these minerals are mined changes hands from rebels to legitimate government almost on an hourly basis, there is an even bigger problem with compliance.  Many of our electronic devices are manufactured in China.  Can HP or Motorola, for example, ask China to verify the source of the minerals in their products made in China?  And, if they can, does anyone expect that China will actually track this data?

There are two other points to know.  Companies must report their compliance efforts beginning in 2012, but, their report must contain what efforts they made in their 2011 fiscal year.  And, companies must report this information to the Securities and Exchange Commission.  Huh, the SEC?

Although is is certainly laudable that our government is trying to stop the violence in this part of the world, what this provision is doing in the Dodd-Frank Financial Reform Act, will, no doubt, forever remain a mystery.

12 replies
  1. Lynn
    Lynn says:

    SOS, Can we nullify everything that Dodd and Frank did retroactive to 2008? Dumb and Dumber have accomplished quite a record of damaging everything great about our country. One can only wonder who is being paid back from their latest blunder.

  2. phil
    phil says:

    Frick and Frack were both in the cloakroom when brains and common sence were passed our.  And Connecticut wants to "name" something after Dodd to honor him?  How about the Hartford sewew system!

  3. Plainvillian
    Plainvillian says:

    More senseless overreaching with a smoke and mirrors feel good unenforceable law.  If there are enough laws, all are guilty or scofflaws.  The guilty are easily controlled.  It's all about control.

    Will some conclude that if one cannot live without breaking laws why obey any?  If enough reach this conclusion, will anarchy not become more attractive?  Could economic frustration accelerate this?

    Final question: Is there anybody inside the beltway who has read the Constitution and understands its limitations on government?

  4. joe_m
    joe_m says:

    Somewhere there is a provision for big fines for not being compliant. Why else have it. Just another business tax that will be easier to pay than to defend against.

  5. GdavidH
    GdavidH says:

    Plainvillian, I'm with you. I'm really starting to believe the saying that "Rules were made to be broken", especially those from the federal gov't.

     Just don't tell my kids I said that. 

     

  6. ctrefugee
    ctrefugee says:

    next they will go after the cotton industries and will create the new boxer wars. Watch out tighty whitey's your next on the dems. hit list

     

  7. porschepete
    porschepete says:

    Just an other road block for US industries. These rules only apply to us not ot China. Manufacturing creats wealth

    not government. buy "made in  USA" good luck with that.

  8. David R
    David R says:

    Don't be so quick to assume American business will be hurt by this. Just as likely American business wanted this as did other groups.  When it comes to understanding puzzling laws and regulations, dig for the financial connections: such as campaign donations, expenditures for lobbying, and who stands to get a job, or other payoff as a result.  Government works for us, sometimes, and for corporations most of the time. Check out the film "Inside Job" for a little schooling on this. Or do some digging on the origins of wealth of some of our public servants. You'll find that corporate America made a fair share rich in exchange for favors, contracts and legislation.  It doesn't matter which party you choose either. The continued success of the bi-partisan corporate/government marriage depends on voters believing that their own party hasn't yet consumated it. Fat chance. 

  9. PatRiot
    PatRiot says:

    This is in the financial reform act in order to eliminate the rebels from the money stream and have more dollars go into the legitimized criminal's (read Congress's) hands.  HAAAA !

    Let's see:  reporting compliance:  Hmm you mean like Geitner, Rangle, et al and taxes.    To the SEC? – oh yeah, those who turned a blind eye while Wall Street crumbled?

    This do as I say and not as I ido thing is out of hand.

    And Congress  makes Rube Goldberg look like a rookie.

  10. Dimsdale
    Dimsdale says:

    What next? Will we have to ensure that oil purchased from Venezuela is not supporting Chavez, or does this get a pass from his book club buddy, Øbama?

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