The damning point is that the (corrupt) government of the DRC instituted their own mining ban (Sept. 2010 - March 2011) causing much of the disruption long before the Dodd-Frank provisions took effect... but that is glossed over in the NYT OpEd that is apparently the center of this.http://www.minesandcommunities.org/article.php?a=10423http://www.nytimes.com/2011/08/08/opinion/how-congress-devastated-congo.html
So are the same SEC fearing companies then going to refuse to purchase products from Chinese/Japanese companies that contain goods manufactured with minerals that come from DRC? Really? Or not, because once it's been manufactured it doesn't matter? It's all just an excuse... The primary use is Tantalum Capacitors, and I can't find an American manufacturer for them (all Japanese or Chinese). I'm kinda in that business.
Looks like an excuse for banks to bash the broader Dodd-Frank bill in some rather odd ways... (I would rather congress just brought back Glass–Steagall and put Phil Gramm and his friends up on spikes to remind people of the consequences of opaque markets and bad lending practices, but they're all owned by bankers so what's the use). Europe will detonate soon enough anyway on the back of CDS.
The article implese the Chinese are getting the commodity Ta at a significantly reduced price when there are no planes flying, and individuals are digging Coltan ore out of the ground with hand tools, but Congo accounts for 80% of the world supply? It's a commodity, doesn't that mean that there are many other starving people with hand tools digging similar holes that are now more busy? I don't really know enough about the business, but it certainly doesn't sound efficient to me (if it requires airplane transport to extract the ore and support the "mining"). Just what are the external costs? Do they matter? Why did many other commodities (like iron etc) also have a boom bust cycle over the last couple of years, when they aren't controlled by warlords and produced with hand shovels?
Re: The OpEd - What is being discussed is an "obscure section" of Frank-Dodd, but it's all caused by the "Obama Law"? WTF? This looks like a political scam on so many levels. It a game played by both sides against the middle. "John Prendergast is an "intelligence" agent causing poverty and disruption with the help of ENOUGH...??? Where does this come from.... oh the blog comments. I don't trust any of these sources. What else has David Aronson published?
I found this:http://www.international-alert.org/resources/publications/complexity-resource-governance-context-state-fragility
Seems rational enough, but doesn't support the thesis very well.
The organization ENOUGH, has this to say, "On March 1, 2010, the Congolese government issued a traceability manual backed by several national stakeholders. This move puzzled many North Kivu civil society groups who questioned the need for new regulations, as opposed to the enforcement of existing laws. Some groups saw this as an implicit admission that the Congolese government was unwilling to enforce its own laws, and there was suspicion that the government would continue to fail to uphold its commitments."
Sounds a lot like what I was talking about before I even read on the subject... It doesn't matter what laws you have if you don't enforce them. They don't, we don't, and it's all just politics... global and local.
What a scam.