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Wall Street Influence, By the Numbers

Submitted by on May 14, 2010 – 11:19 am

$1.4 MILLION…The amount that the finance industry is spending every day to influence Congress.

$600 MILLION…The amount that the six big banks and their trade associations have spent on lobbying, trade association activity, and political contributions since the first major federal bailout of Bear Sterns in March 2008.

243…The number of government insiders turned lobbyists employed by the six big banks and their trade associations, including 202 former congressional staffers.

$1.765 BILLION…The total amount of tax-exempt Liberty Bonds, state and local tax breaks, and cash grants given to Goldman Sachs to build it’s new $2.1 billion headquarters in New York City.

$3.3 BILLION…Goldman’s first quarter profits, meaning it could have paid the total cost for its new building all by itself using just 2 months of its profits.

4…The percentage of Americans who hold a positive view of Goldman Sachs, according to a new poll from NBC and the Wall Street Journal.

6…The number of banks now under scrutiny in a federal criminal probe.  The list now includes Goldman Sachs, J.P. Morgan Chase, Morgan Stanley, Citigroup, Deutsche Bank, and UBS.

8…The number of banks under scrutiny by the New York attorney general’s office, in a probe examining whether the banks “duped” rating agencies by providing them with misleading information.  The banks under investigation are Goldman Sachs, Morgan Stanley, UBS, Citigroup, Credit Suisse, Deutsche Bank, Crédit Agricole, and Merrill Lynch (now owned by Bank of America).

61 days…The number of days Bank of America, Citigroup, Goldman Sachs, and JP Morgan Chase made money trading during the first 3 months of the year—a perfect run that is “one for the record books.”

25…The number of hedge fund managers and Wall Street executives that Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell and Senator John Cornyn, chair of the Republican Senatorial Campaign Committee, met with to plot strategy for killing real reform and enhancing Republican electoral gains in the election.

18 percent…The amount that anti-predatory lending laws can reduce foreclosure rates, according to a recent study.  Unfortunately, some Senate Democrats are making a misguided push to preempt states from putting in place these and other consumer protections stronger than those in the Wall Street accountability bill.

$245…Average auto dealer markup on loans to white borrowers.

$656…Average auto dealer markup on loans to African-American borrowers.  Despite such obvious discrimination and a strong push from the military to protect troops and their families from similar abuses, Senator Sam Brownback is pushing to exempt auto dealers from the consumer protection provisions in the Senate Wall Street accountability bill.

This list of facts comes courtesy of our friends at the Center for American Progress and takes a look at the numbers surrounding the need for financial reform.

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