Wednesday, May 13, 2009

It Pays to Lobby

FireDogLake reports:

An FDL review of lobbying reports for the first quarter of 2009 reveals that banks receiving federal bailout funds spent over $13 million lobbying against consumer interests and for the financial benefit of their executives.

In the first quarter of 2009, banks such as Bank of America, JP Morgan and Wells Fargo that received billions in taxpayer assistance focused their lobbying efforts on defeating attempts to regulate credit card practices, specifically caps on interest rates. They also lobbied extensively to prevent legislation that would have allowed bankruptcy judges to write down mortgage principle ("cramdown"), which FDL examined yesterday. At the same time, they lobbied on behalf of their executives to be paid without limit.
Below is a chart of bailout funds received as a multiple of that $13mm spent on lobbying in the quarter.



Don't feel too bad for Credit Suisse... while the lowest "multiple", that $580k still got them $400mm. Not too shabby.