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CONTACT: Institute for Public Accuracy (IPA)
Sam Husseini, (202) 347-0020; or David Zupan, (541) 484-9167
Washington as Wall Street's 'Biggest Profit Center'
Public Citizen today released a report titled "Financial Industry Invests Heavily in Key Lawmakers." The group states: "The industry -- including banks, investment firms, insurance companies and real estate companies -- has given $42 million in campaign contributions to lawmakers and their leadership political action committees since the current election cycle began in November 2008."
"The finance sector is investing most heavily in the very lawmakers who will decide the new rules of the road," said Public Citizen President Robert Weissman, who speaks Monday at a rally in front of Goldman Sachs' Washington, D.C., headquarters to demand Congress take immediate action on reform.
"It appears that Wall Street's biggest profit center is not in Manhattan but in Washington, D.C. Investing millions in the lawmakers who are crafting new financial regulations has the potential to earn them billions down the line if they can escape meaningful regulatory controls. It looks like an attempt to buy access and influence at precisely the time when the big banks are lobbying intensely to weaken or kill legislation that would rein in their reckless behavior."
Weissman added: "It's outrageous that firms such as Goldman Sachs, with its projected $23 billion in bonuses and compensation, would try to block reform while continuing the extravagant pay practices that helped create this country's financial crisis."