Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Step One: Citigroup Writes Bill. Step Two: Congress Passes Bill--w/ Help of 70 Dems

 Yesterday, the House voted to allow your 401(K) adviser to scam you.

Today, the House voted on financial deregulation legislation that was, effectively, written by Citigroup.

The New York Times reported on Citigroup's authorship back in May:
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.)

The lobbying campaign shows how, three years after Congress passed the most comprehensive overhaul of regulation since the Depression, Wall Street is finding Washington a friendlier place.

The cordial relations now include a growing number of Democrats in both the House and the Senate, whose support the banks need if they want to roll back parts of the 2010 financial overhaul, known as Dodd-Frank.

This legislative push is a second front, with Wall Street’s other battle being waged against regulators who are drafting detailed rules allowing them to enforce the law.
Congress, of course, has a history of passing laws specifically designed for Citigroup. What does the so-called Swaps Regulatory Improvement Act do?
The bill that Citigroup helped draft takes aim at one of the more contentious provisions in Dodd Frank, a requirement that banks “push out” some derivatives trading into separate units that are not backed by the government’s insurance fund. The goal was to isolate this risky trading and to prevent government bailouts.

A main culprit in the 2008 financial crisis, derivatives are contracts that allow companies to either speculate in the markets or protect against risk. Such contracts helped push the insurance giant American International Group to the brink of collapse in 2008.

The House bill scheduled for a vote Wednesday would significantly curb the requirement that banks separate their derivatives trading operations, a plan that was created as a compromise by Citigroup lobbyists. In essence, the compromise exempted a wider array of derivatives from the push-out rule.
Rep. Maxine Waters (CA-43), ranking Democrat on the Financial Services Committee, has been the bill's most vocal opponent. The Times quotes her as saying, "After inflicting so much pain and suffering on the American people, now is not the time to let the largest banks back into the casino."

Rep. Jim Himes (D-Wall Street suburbs) has been the bill's most vocal Democratic supporter.
The legislation, Mr. Himes said in an interview, poses no financial risk to the country. And while he is the second-largest recipient among House Democrats of financial sector donations, that is not what is compelling his vote, he said.

“It hardly determines, thank goodness, how legislators think about these issues,” said Mr. Himes, a former Goldman Sachs executive.
His comment is precious, isn't it?

Occupy the SEC activist (and reformed former banker) Alexis Goldstein got into an epic Twitter battle with Himes back in May, when the bill was still in Committee.

The bill passed the House easily, with a bipartisan majority of 292 to 122. 70 Democrats voted for it. 3 Republicans voted against it. The fact that a majority of Democrats opposed it is a welcome development, considering it passed committee 53 to 6. However, they all should have opposed it.
The three Republican opponents were Jimmy Duncan (TN-02), Walter Jones (NC-03), and Tom Massie (KY-04).

And now for the 70 Democrats that supported weakening Dodd-Frank to satisfy their donors:

Ron Barber (AZ-02)
John Barrow (GA-12)
Joyce Beatty (OH-03)
Ami Bera (CA-07)
Sanford Bishop (GA-02)
Earl Blumenauer (OR-03)
Corrine Brown (FL-05)
G. K. Butterfield (NC-01)
John Carney (DE-AL)
Yvette Clarke (NY-09)
Jim Clyburn (SC-06)
Gerry Connolly (VA-11)
Joe Crowley (NY-14)
Henry Cuellar (TX-28)
John Delaney (MD-06)
Tammy Duckworth (IL-08)
Eliot Engel (NY-16)
Elizabeth Esty (CT-05)
Bill Foster (IL-11)
Marcia Fudge (OH-11)
Pete Gallego (TX-23)
Joe Garcia (FL-26)
Colleen Hanabusa (HI-01)
Denny Heck (WA-10)
Jim Himes (CT-04)
Rubén Hinojosa (TX-15)
Steven Horsford (NV-04)
Steny Hoyer (MD-05)
Hakeem Jeffries (NY-08)
Hank Johnson (GA-04)
Robin Kelly (IL-02)
Derek Kilmer (WA-06)
Ron Kind (WI-03)
Ann Kirkpatrick (AZ-01)
Annie Kuster (NH-02)
Rick Larsen (WA-02)
John Larson (CT-01)
Daniel Lipinski (IL-03)
Nita Lowey (NY-17)
Dan Maffei (NY-24)
Carolyn Maloney (NY-12)
Sean Maloney (NY-18)
Jim Matheson (UT-02)
Mike McIntyre (NC-07)
Gregory Meeks (NY-05)
Grace Meng (NY-06)
Gwen Moore (WI-04)
Jim Moran (VA-08)
Patrick Murphy (FL-18)
Bill Owens (NY-21)
Ed Perlmutter (CO-07)
Scott Peters (CA-52)
Gary Peters (MI-14)
Jared Polis (CO-02)
Mike Quigley (IL-05)
Nick Rahall (WV-03)
Charlie Rangel (NY-13)
Cedric Richmond (LA-02)
Dutch Ruppersberger (MD-02)
Loretta Sanchez (CA-46)
Brad Schneider (IL-10)
David Scott (GA-13)
Terri Sewell (AL-07)
Brad Sherman (CA-30)
Kyrsten Sinema (AZ-09)
Albio Sires (NJ-08)
Juan Vargas (CA-51)
Marc Veasey (TX-33)
Debbie Wasserman Schultz (FL-23)
Frederica Wilson (FL-24)

Notice that several members of the party leadership--Clyburn, Hoyer, and DWS--were on that list. Pelosi and Israel were not there for the vote.

Lest you get your hopes up that notorious Blue Dog Jim Cooper had a change of heart and voted against it, he didn't. He wasn't there.

No comments:

Post a Comment