Post Passage Lobbying Statistics

The Financial Reform and Consumer Protection bill has been signed into law, but that doesn’t mean that the big banks are slowing down their fight to prevent reforms.  Check out the latest lobbying numbers and stats, as reported in the news:

“The finance, insurance and real estate sector spent $125.5 million in lobbying for the first quarter, putting it on pace to break the $467 million figure that it reached in 2009 when the Senate and House began tackling the revamp, which President Obama signed into law last week. Despite passage, lobbying activity is expected to thrive as agencies began writing rules over some of the most contentious parts of the package, such as restricting proprietary trades for a bank’s account rather than its clients, and the extent to which broker/dealers will have to be held to a higher legal standard when advising their customers.” [Congress Daily, 7/28/10]

“As the battle over toughened financial restrictions moves to a new front, the regulatory agencies that will create hundreds of new rules for the nation’s banks will face a lobbying blitz from companies intent on softening the blow. And many of the lobbyists the regulators hear from will be their former colleagues.” [New York Times, 7/27/10]

  • “Nearly 150 lobbyists registered since last year used to work in the executive branch at financial agencies, from lawyers for the Securities and Exchange Commission to Federal Reserve bankers, according to data analyzed for The New York Times by the Center for Responsive Politics, a nonpartisan research group. In addition, dozens of former lawyers for the government, who are not registered as lobbyists, are now scouring the financial regulations on behalf of corporate clients.” [New York Times, 7/27/10]
  • “One corporate lobbyist who worked as a regulator, asked whether he believed he had an inside edge in lobbying his ex-colleagues, said: “The answer is yes, it does. If it didn’t, I wouldn’t be able to justify getting out of bed in the morning and charging the outrageous fees that we charge our clients, which they willingly pay.” [New York Times, 7/27/10]

“When President Obama signed the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act into law July 21, it was just the beginning for the armies of lawyers and lobbyists tasked with representing a variety of financial services companies that will be affected by the seismic legislation.” [Washington Post, 7/26/10]

  • “Alexander estimates that Arnold & Porter had between 30 and 40 lawyers who spent a significant portion of their time tracking and studying the legislation. More than 15 lawyers at WilmerHale were drawn from nearly every practice group to form an internal task force in anticipation of the overhaul, reports counsel Gail C. Bernstein and partner Thomas W. White. Dozens of attorneys at Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom published a 200-page tome on the impact of the Dodd-Frank Act before it was even signed into law, and the firm could eventually have as many as 100 lawyers involved in some aspect of the process.” [Washington Post, 7/26/10]

“So after spending many millions of dollars to lobby against the legislation, bankers are now turning to Plan B: Adapting to the rules and turning them to their advantage.” [New York Times, 7/15/10]

  • “Rob Nichols, president of the Financial Services Forum, a trade group representing the chief executive officers of the largest financial firms, said in a statement yesterday that his group plans to work with regulators “to create a financial supervisory framework that ensures institutional safety and soundness and systemic stability, while also fostering the conditions necessary to fuel economic growth and job creation.” [Bloomberg, 7/16/10]

“Well before Congress reached agreement on the details of its financial overhaul legislation, industry lobbyists and consumer advocates started preparing for the next battle: influencing the creation of several hundred new rules and regulations.” [New York Times, 6/26/10]

  • The much-debated prohibition on banks investing their own money, for example, leaves it up to regulators to set the exact boundaries. Lobbyists for Goldman Sachs, Citigroup and other large banks already are pressing to exclude some kinds of lucrative trading from that definition. [New York Times, 6/26/10]
  • The Consumer Bankers Association has added seven members in recent months, bringing its total to 60. [New York Times, 6/26/10]