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Report: How Too-Big-To-Fail’s Army of Lobbyists Has Captured Washington

Submitted by on May 12, 2010 – 9:58 am

New Report Details Vast Army Of Former Federal Workers Now Lobbying For The Big Banks

A new report, released today, shows that throughout the financial reform debate, the finance industry has spent an estimated $1.4 million per day to influence Congress, and has hired 70 former Members of Congress and 940 former federal employees to lobby on their behalf. The report, titled Big Bank Takeover: How Too-Big-To-Fail’s Army of Lobbyists Has Captured Washington, was jointly released today by jointly released today by Campaign for America’s Future and the Public Accountability Initiative with support from the Service Employees International Union.

In the two years since the first federal bailout of a big bank Bear Stearns), the six biggest banks — Goldman Sachs, Bank of America, JP Morgan, Citigroup, Morgan Stanley, and Wells Fargo, and their principal trade associations, have spent close to $600 million on lobbying, trade association activity, and political contributions and have hired over 240 former government insiders as lobbyists — 202 from Congress, the rest from the White House, Treasury, or other relevant federal government agencies.

You can see the full report here:
http://www.ourfuture.org/files/documents/big-bank-takeover-final.pdf

“This report would be shocking, were it not so sad and predictable,” said Robert Borosage, co-director of the Campaign for America’s Future, a center of progressive ideas and organizing that published the report.   “The revolving door continues to swing fast and loose in Washington as the Big Banks continue to try to kill or weaken common sense financial reforms. This report shows how the big banks own the place. The only check is a truly outraged and mobilized citizenry demanding curbs on Wall Street.  And it is that outrage, demonstrated in the Showdown on K Street rallies next week, which has the banks worried and their lobbyists on edge.”

“Congress has become a job placement agency for big bank lobbyists,” said Kevin Connor, co-director of the Public Accountability Initiative. “This report shows how the six biggest banks have used the revolving door and legal bribery to gain unrivaled access to Washington’s corridors of power. The result is a never-ending cycle of fraud, bailouts, and backroom deals that leave the economy in shambles and taxpayers in the lurch.”

“The American people are tired of seeing Wall Street use their wealth to warp our democracy, buy politicians, and lock Main Street into recession,” said Stephen Lerner, Director of the Service Employees International Union’s Banking and Finance Campaign. “It’s why thousands of Americans are coming to Washington next week to challenge Wall Street and corporate-bought lobbyists who infect our political system with greed and gridlock. And it’s why a movement is building across the country to demand an economy that works for everyone again-not just Wall Street CEOs and their hired guns.”

On May 16th and 17th, everyday Americans from across the country will converge on Washington, D.C. for a series of demonstrations to challenge the Wall Street, corporate, and anti-immigrant interests and lobbyists described in the report. Many of the workers, family farmers, clergy, and activists coming to Washington, D.C. also participated in actions across the country last week to hold Wall Street accountable. More than 10,000 people marched on Wall Street banks in San Francisco, Kansas City, Chicago, Charlotte, and on Wall Street.

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