Financial Oligarchy "Lobbies" Up

Now, it is not like the financial oligarchy's lobbyists have not done their job so far but they are gearing up for the biggest battle.

Wall Street’s largest trade group has started a campaign to counter the “populist” backlash against bankers, enlisting two former aides to Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson to spearhead the effort.

Notice who they are enlisting for help - two former aides to Paulson. The battle is for "the hearts of minds" of Congress because Congress holds the key to real regulatory reform (not that bambi crap that Obama Administration proposed).

In memos of confidential meetings with top financial executives, the Securities Industry and Financial Markets Association said it began this month the “execution phase” of the operation, which pledges to “embrace change” and accountability. The plan targets policy makers and the media in New York, London, Washington and Brussels and calls for a “city-by-city, grass roots” approach.

I like how these confidential memos were leaked to Bloomberg. What they are attempting to do is improve their public image so that it is easier for Congress to protect them. Right now the public hates "bankers" and "Wall Street". So it may be relatively easier for grassroots pressure to make a difference. The financial oligarchy can't have that. From one of the "confidential" memos:

“It is imperative that in this historic period of reform, the industry be recognized as playing a positive role in seeking change and providing solutions to the problems we face,” one of the documents said. “There is currently widespread skepticism about the industry’s commitment to this needed change.”

You think? Skepticism is too weak of a word. This industry is absolutely resistant to needed change. They will fight it would every dollar at their disposal.

They are assembling a "bi-partisan" team of public relations/lobbying professionals. Including Democratic polling company, Brilliant Corners Research and Strategies, which is run by someone who worked on President Obama's campaign. How convenient is that?

Bottomline can be summed up by this quote from Bill Brown a visiting law professor at Duke University:

“It’s right for them to try to come back from this, but they have to realize that they are not going to be reborn into what they were,” said Brown, who was global co-head of listed derivatives at Morgan Stanley. “The best P.R. comes from doing good, not from having to manage your image.”

The problem for the financial oligarchy is that "doing good" means a smaller pie for them which good for us.

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Let me explain that last sentence.

Financial sector has grown too big and powerful which is not good for our economy. The financial sector should be intermediaries and not the driver of the economy. The financial sector needs to be tamed and knocked down several notches. Here is a perfect example: the one aspect of the Obama Administration proposal that I agree with - the consumer protection agency is already under attack by banks.

Why? Because they need to protect the huge fees that they generate from sticking it to customers.

Fees imposed by banks accounted for 53 percent of industry income in 2008, up from 35 percent in 1995, according to R.K. Hammer Investment Bankers, a credit-card advisory firm. JPMorgan Chase & Co., the second-largest U.S. bank by assets, said such revenue doubled in the first quarter. A U.S. Consumer Financial Protection Agency also may add costs by expanding scrutiny.

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their previous lobbying efforts

led to their own demise. Study Shows TARP Recipients Lobbied for the Global Financial Meltdown.

Sure, they don't get that raising interest rates on credit card balances is probably going to led to a charge off. It's just unbelievable, if they could get Congress to enable them to run out and break legs, like the old loan sharking days, I am sure they would.

I've got a blog post research project for you: What happens when corporate lobbyists get their way? I think the list is a mile long on bad bills, bad legislation, horrific consequences, even for the companies who demanded such a mile long.

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