Gary Rivlin, writing in today’s Daily Beast, writes that several of the largest US banking houses are lobbying at a greater pace than they have ever before.
The country’s biggest banks spilled record amounts of cash on D.C.-based lobbyists in 2010, and it’s no wonder why. Congress was debating Dodd-Frank, the sprawling 2,319-page consumer-protection act that ended up dictating everything from how much a bank can bet on high-risk ventures to the maximum fee it can charge retailers on debit-card transactions. But new numbers just released by the Center for Responsive Politics show that the big banks spent even more on lobbyists in 2011 in their fight to water down Dodd-Frank.
I refuse to defend any financial instituion that seeks to duck its obligations, but I feel that Rivlin’s argument here requires some further discussion.
Banks lobby. Gun markets lobby. Tobbacco lobbies. Why is it all of a sudden with sheer fake horror that the public is reacting to this fact? I though the idea that large interests spend exorbanent amounts of money on influencing public officials and legislation was public knowledge (see Thank You For Smoking).
Let’s be clear. I don’t support lobbying of any kind. And while what certain large banks have done on the Hill is ugly it is at least tacitly legal.
If Rivlin has a real problem with the lobbying industry, then call BS on everybody, not just the banks because it’s easy.