Friday, April 30, 2010

Financial Reform

Hundreds of lobbyists for banks and Wall Street, working with Republicans, have been working to block the reform bill currently winding its way through congress.

If ever bank reform is needed it’s now!

But Wall Street has not come to grips with the possibility that if a bill could pass in its current form, Wall Street will be restrained form gambling with our money! So far the banks that were provided Taxpayer assistance to prevent their filing bankruptcy have accumulatively invested more than $9 million to “bribe” congress to fight this bill.

A recent Fox report says, "About 25 Wall Street executives, many of them hedge fund managers, sat down for a private meeting with two of the most powerful Republican lawmakers in Congress: Senate minority leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky, and John Cornyn, the senior senator from Texas who runs the National Republican Senatorial Committee, one of the primary fundraising arms of the Republican Party." (View the broadcast)

The Banks and their lobbyists are aligning themselves with the republican constituent in congress. Believing they are their best hope of watering down a bill that seeks to place them under control.

Under attack appears to be several important areas of concern that the Republicans, under the Banks influence will fight to their death. Those areas are (i) a 50 Billion dollar fund to break up “too big to fail banks” (ii) visibility for the lucrative derivatives market, and (iii) on how to protect consumers and (iv) how to set limits on previously unregulated exotic instruments such as derivatives.

Lobbying spending to block the bill by some of the biggest firms:
JP Morgan Chase & Co.; First quarter, 2010: $1,510,000 First quarter, 2009: $1,310,000 Citigroup: First quarter, 2010: $1,310,000, First quarter, 2009: $1,250,000;
Credit Suisse. First quarter, 2010: $1,190,000, First quarter, 2009: $470,000;
Goldman Sachs First quarter, 2010: $1,150,000, First quarter, 2009: $670,000
Wells Fargo; First quarter, 2010: $1,020,000, First quarter, 2009: $700,000;
Bank of America, First quarter, 2010: $940,000, First quarter, 2009: $820,000,
Morgan Stanley, First quarter, 2010: $810,000, First quarter, 2009: $540,000;
State Street First quarter, 2010: $380,000, First quarter, 2009: $210,000

CNN during a recent panel discussion described the lobbying process on Capitol Hill as the "Blob." Congressional staffers and lobbyists are the ones hashing out the final details of the financial reform bill. These same Congressional staffers and their bosses are indebted to the lobbyists, having accepted tens of millions in campaign contributions. There is absolutely no adversarial relationship on capital hill - everybody is on the same side of the page - and rarely is anybody at the table even an elected official.

Think about this, if the banks and those beholden to them in congress don’t want this bill passed, we do!!!