POLITICS

Elected Legislators Continue To Occasionally Assist Bank Lobbyists In Drafting Legislation

05/24/2013 01:37 pm ET | Updated May 24, 2013
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Ever since the taxpayer bailout allowed Wall Street banks to procure an army of shiny new lobbyists, it's been generally understood that said lobbyists have done the lion's share of the work in drafting legislation to help undermine the effort to regulate banks, because the whole "having U.S. taxpayer wealth as a de facto asset on our balance sheet to guard against future galactic cock-ups" is pretty sweet deal, all things considered.

But it's not like your elected lawmakers aren't playing a vital role themselves in drafting this legislation. Indeed, as Dealbook notes today, they are still making substantial contributions to the effort.

Behold, leadership (emphasis mine):

One bill that sailed through the House Financial Services Committee this month — over the objections of the Treasury Department — was essentially Citigroup’s, according to e-mails reviewed by The New York Times. The bill would exempt broad swathes of trades from new regulation.

In a sign of Wall Street’s resurgent influence in Washington, Citigroup’s recommendations were reflected in more than 70 lines of the House committee’s 85-line bill. Two crucial paragraphs, prepared by Citigroup in conjunction with other Wall Street banks, were copied nearly word for word. (Lawmakers changed two words to make them plural.)

There is really no compelling reason why we cannot simply replace our bicameral legislature with two burlap sacks filled with Xanaxed cockatiels.

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