10. Derivatives will become more transparent
The financial overhaul provides tighter restrictions on financial instruments known as derivatives, which are used for speculation and helped fuel the financial crisis. Derivatives – which billionaire investor Warren Buffett (right) once called "weapons of financial mass destruction" – are bets between two parties on how the value of an asset will change, and are often used by companies to hedge risks. Previously, derivatives had been traded out of the sight of regulators, but the new law forces many of those trades onto more transparent exchanges.
Banks would be able to continue trading derivatives related to interest rates, foreign exchanges, gold, and silver. But riskier derivatives could not be traded by banks, and would have to be run through affiliated companies with segregated finances.
Related: How derivatives circle the globe