AFR Report: Financial Sector Lobbying and Campaign Spending Top $1.2 Billion for 2014 Election Cycle
December 11, 2014 – 10:34 am | Comments Off

Wall Street banks and financial interests have so far reported spending more than $1.2 billion on lobbying and campaign contributions, according to AFR’s updated “Wall Street Money in Washington” report. That works out to just under $1.2 million a day or an average of $2.3 million spent to elect or influence each of the 535 members of the Senate and House of Representatives.

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AFR in the News: Banks Win More Time to Sell Private Equity Stakes (USA Today)
December 19, 2014 – 10:29 am

Americans for Financial Reform… called the Fed action disappointing and said it “raises serious questions about regulators’ intentions to properly enforce the Volcker Rule.” “Since proprietary trading can occur through the mechanism of external funds, the delay in divestment requirements for covered funds will greatly weaken the enforcement of other crucial parts of the Volcker Rule as well,” the organization said.

AFR in the News: Payday Lenders Throw Millions at Powerful Politicians to Get Their Way (CNN)
December 18, 2014 – 4:27 pm

Since the beginning of 2013, high-cost loan providers and those with ties to the industry have spent more than $13 million on lobbying and campaign donations to at least 50 lawmakers, according to a new report from the nonprofit Americans for Financial Reform. Recipients include big names on both sides of the aisle…

AFR in the News: Massive Bill’s Reform Deficit (Scranton Times)
December 16, 2014 – 11:19 am

“[As] part of a $1.1 trillion compromise to continue running the government that Congress passed over the weekend, [a] crucial Dodd-Frank reform effectively was repealed. Big investment banks once again will be able to use federally insured deposits and other public protections to throw the dice on lightly regulated derivatives — private profit, public risk.. [I]n Washington, money not only talks, it writes the law.”

AFR in the News: Critics Say Spending Bill Includes a Bonanza for Wall Street (NBC TV)
December 12, 2014 – 4:00 pm

Marcus Stanley, policy director for Americans for Financial Reform, which advocates for tighter regulation of Wall Street, said the big winners would be three large banks — Citigroup, JPMorgan Chase and Bank of America. “These derivatives markets are very lucrative,” Stanley said in an interview Friday. “And that safety net subsidy, that deposit insurance subsidy, gives you a very large advantage. There’s a lot of money involved in this.”

AFR in the News: Wall Street Spent $1.2 Billion in Campaign Donations, Lobbying This Cycle (The
December 11, 2014 – 3:19 pm

“The spending is the largest ever for the sector in mid-term elections, and financial services is the largest source of campaign contributions and the second-largest spender on lobbying, according to the report from Americans for Financial Reform, a nonpartisan coalition of civil rights, consumer and other public interest groups.”

Press Briefing: Senator Jeff Merkley Joins Barney Frank and Public-Interest Advocates in Decrying Dodd-Frank Rollback Threat
December 10, 2014 – 6:06 pm

In a telephone press briefing, Senator Jeff Merkley (D-OR) and former Representative Barney Frank, co-author of the landmark 2010 financial reform law, outlined the dangers of a House spending-bill provision that would repeal an important piece of the Dodd-Frank Act. They were joined by Damon A. Silvers, director of policy and special counsel for the AFL-CIO; Nancy Zirkin, executive vice president of The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights; and Lisa Donner, executive director of Americans for Financial Reform.

Joint Letter to Congress: Consumer Groups Urge Congress to Reject Harmful Auto Financing Legislation
December 10, 2014 – 5:13 pm

AFR sent a letter to members of the House urging opposition to H.R. 5403, the “Reforming CFPB Indirect Auto Financing Guidance Act.” This legislation places unnecessary restrictions on the CFPB’s oversight of auto financing practices— restrictions that do not exist for any other financial practice and are designed to chill the agency’s attempts to bring fairness and transparency to the auto lending market.

Joint Statement: Budget Deal Must Not Include an Outrageous Wall Street Giveaway
December 10, 2014 – 12:33 pm

“The section of Dodd-Frank that Congress is proposing to repeal was put in place to help prevent future bailouts of too big to fail banks. It cordons off the kinds of extraordinarily risky transactions that were at the heart of the financial crisis. Including this repeal in the budget is outrageous. It’s a giveaway to a tiny handful of the biggest Wall Street banks that puts the country’s financial and economic stability at risk.”