We all knew this was going on, I hope, but it is nice to see a story in the New York Times actually admit to it:
“Bank lobbyists are not leaving it to lawmakers to draft legislation that softens financial regulations. Instead, the lobbyists are helping to write it themselves. 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.)”
I’m not sure why this is news. Of course, Lawmakers want bank lobbyists to writ the laws because that means (1) less work writing laws and (2) less work reading the laws to make sure they will make the bank lobbyists happy. If the banks write their own laws, it simplifies the whole process, and prevents mistakes from happening.
But the story doesn’t really acknowledge what is going on:
“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.”
Not exactly. The lobbying campaign shows that the supposedly “comprehensive overhaul” of regulation was never very meaningful. The banks knew full well that this was just a ruse to get people to relax so they could operate in the same fashion as before.
People who want to believe that government can control banking are fooling themselves that banking and government are actually two different entities. That is simply not true. With its Federal Reserve the government and the banking system are practically the same institution. The Federal Reserve, after all, was formed by the very people who the public were told the Federal Reserve was going to control and regulate. The interests of Morgan and Rockefeller and other families of the one percent met together on Jekyll Island and concocted the law that we now know as the Federal Reserve Act.
We now have an unelected banking dictator who holds tremendous power over our currency (I won’t say he “controls” the money because he isn’t that competent). It should come as no surprise then, that agents of the banking industry, now a century later, are still the ones who craft the laws.
“Industry officials acknowledged that they played a role in drafting the legislation, but argued that the practice was common in Washington. Some of the changes, they say, have gained wide support, including from Ben S. Bernanke, the Federal Reserve chairman.”
Notice the admission that lobbyists write law all the time, as if that is supposed to be comforting to the American people! And then they say that even Ben Bernanke supports the lobbyists’ ideas as if Bernanke is anything other than another lobbyist for the banking industry.
It’s not just Congress that let bankers write laws; the newspapers also let bankers write their stories.