Over-the-counter derivatives, once known for their obscurity, are center stage in the Securities and Exchange Commission's lawsuit against Goldman Sachs and President Obama's financial reforms. When values went south in 2007 and 2008, an inability to properly judge and react to the risks contributed to the bankruptcy of Lehman Brothers and the near-failure of AIG.

Operations executives heading to the Securities Industry and Financial Markets Association's 2010 conference in Palm Desert, Calif., this week agree regulation is imminent.

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