Bankers and Bailouts: Lobbyists in Washington

Friday, October 31, 2008

We hear a lot about “Main Street” and “Wall Street,” but what about “K Street”? Over the past few decades, the financial industry and an army of lobbyists have pushed for more and more deregulation in Washington. We look at the complicated relationship between the financial industry, regulators and lobbyists. Matt Cooper is Conde Nast Portfolio Washington Editor; Leslie Wayne is a reporter for the New York Times.


Matt Cooper and Leslie Wayne

Comments [3]

jeff from CT

re forcing banks to lend "bailout" money

maybe we should let banks decide when and where to lend out money...

we don't want to be forcing them to make more bad loans. isn't that how we got into this mess in the first place? is the government willing to guarantee all loans made with this "bailout" money?

as we enter a recession, it's likely that a higher than normal number of people looking for credit will have trouble repaying the loans.

Oct. 31 2008 12:31 PM
Hugh from Crown Heights

Leo Gerard of the United Steelworkers Union has formally contacted Henry Paulson with a charge that Paulson and Treasury are drastically over paying Goldman Sachs and the other 8 initial recipients of $125 billion. This charge is echoed in a current essay by William Greider in The Nation.

Naomi Klein has written on the near absence of oversight of the recipients, leaving Goldman Sachs and others to do as they please.

Several firms have made clear (1) that the plan to keep bonuses at or near last year's levels and (2) that they still will treat shareholders first before debtors or potential debtors.

Oct. 31 2008 12:26 PM

"Lobbyists" -- their very name sounds crafted to make this breed sound as if it tidily fits into our democratic system.

But don't lobbyists constitute (no pun intended) more than just a "cog in the wheel?"

Sitting at a wedding beside an old high school buddy of mine, now a pharma lobbyist, I laid onto him every conspiratorial thought i'd had about the pharmaceutical industry. When he confirmed them all, I asked him, "why?" His answer, delivered with a charming smile: "Because we can!" Simple as that -- and a bit chilling for my taste.

Oct. 31 2008 12:12 PM

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