The Hill reports that lobbyists for financial giants JPMorgan Chase, Citigroup and Prudential have held more than half a dozen meetings with lawmakers in the last 10 days to thwart legislation that could allow the government to preemptively break up large firms.
The main focus of their lobbying efforts are proposed amendments to the House Financial Services Committee's reform legislation that would give the Obama administration the ability to limit the size and scope of banking firms, giving the government the power to intervene in firms that are not failing.
Not surprisingly, the banking industry is bucking the attempts at greater government oversight, contending that nothing about the size of a company inherently poses a threat to the greater economy.
Bloomberg reports that the seven Wall Street lobbyists who tried to woo the staff of Rep. Paul Kanjorski, the amendment's sponsor, left with a sobering conclusion.
Not only was Kanjorski serious, he planned to offer the legislation as early as next week -- and it just might pass.
Kanjorski's proposal would be sweeping, allowing the government to dismantle any firm whose size and risky practices may again threaten the financial system. Lawmakers are considering breakup proposals after overwhelming public outrage over the $700 billion banking bail-out of firms like Citigroup, AIG and Bank of America.
"If we're going to give power to bail out companies when they are too large ... why don't we preemptively determine those corporations or financial institutions are 'too big to fail,' identify them and then make sure they don't remain too big to fail," Kanjorski recently said on CNBC.