From Regulator to Lobbyist . . .

“The answer is yes, it does. If it didn’t, I wouldn’t be able to justify getting out of bed in the morning and charging the outrageous fees that we charge our clients, which they willingly pay.”

-A former regulator, now corporate lobbyist, as to whether he had an inside edge in lobbying his ex-colleagues

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Well, don’t let it be said that this Congress isn’t creating jobs: The 2,300 page financial reform bill seems to be generating demand for more of what we surely don’t need: Corporate Lobbyists.

150 lobbyists that used to work in the executive branch — lawyers for the Securities and Exchange Commission, Commodity Futures Trading Commission, Federal Reserve bankers, and other regulatory agencies — have registered as lobbyists. Add to that 100s of attorneys “scouring the financial regulations” on behalf of corporate clients, and you have the makings of a small army of former Federal employees. They are now working for the firms they used to regulate.

The lobbyist’s goal? Now that finreg legislation has passed, they seek to influence the future rule making that has been written into the new law. According to a NYT:

• The law firm of Davis Polk determined that 243 new financial rules and 67 new studies are required by the legislation.

• The S.E.C. must developing 95 rules (derivative trading, credit rating agencies standards, executive bonus disclosure).

• The Commodity Futures Trading Commission must develop 61 rules.

• Federal Reserve is required to develop 54 specific rules.

• The 2 new agencies created by Congress — Consumer Financial Protection Bureau and the Financial Stability Oversight Council — will create 80 new financial oversight and disclosure rules.

The firms that will be covered by these rules are seeking to influence them before they are even written: Water them down, reduce disclosure requirements, soften oversight, neuter penalties.

As we previously discussed, the bang these firms get for their bucks is extraordinary.

The battle continues . . .

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Previously:
Government for Sale: 2009 Lobbying $3.49 Billion (July 14th, 2010)

Source:
Ex-Regulators Get Set to Lobby on New Financial Rules
ERIC LICHTBLAU
NYT, July 27, 2010   
http://www.nytimes.com/2010/07/28/business/28lobby.html

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