Wall Street’s Favorite Captive
By Kevin Connor • Jun 24, 2010 at 16:47 EST
Last month, as the financial reform process appeared to be going poorly for the banks, Wall Street lobbyists told the Washington Post that they would be looking to Barney Frank for leadership in working out a reform compromise that pleased the banks. While the populists shook their fists, grown-ups like Frank would figure out how to capitulate to Wall Street behind closed doors.
Frank’s moment has finally come. The Huffington Post’s Ryan Grim is reporting that the Congressman from Massachusetts is going to bat for big banks by pushing compromise language on derivatives that will gut the tough reforms sought by Senator Blanche Lincoln.
A new report from Public Citizen and the Center for Responsive Politics sheds new light on the incredible scale of the financial sector’s lobbying effort. The report has found that the sector employs over 1400 former lawmakers and Congressional staffers.
Last month, we issued a report on the big bank lobby in collaboration with the Campaign for America’s Future. “Big Bank Takeover” identified more than 240 revolving door lobbyists working for one of the six major banks and their principal lobbies.
But expand the scope to include other banks, private equity firms, hedge funds, accounting firms, credit unions, and so on, and the number grows much, much larger. Wikipedia research shows that the number of revolving door lobbyists employed by the industry as a whole is literally larger than the number of soldiers that typically constitute a battalion. This is what the public interest is up against.