The “Financial Services Roundtable”

Put a red tab on this file.  These guys aren’t working for you.

This is a (or the) lobbying group for the financial industries, precisely the people who are presently under scrutiny for everything that’s corrupt in the financial sector worldwide.

I’m going to simply past from Think Progress here:

After Successfully Protecting Wall St. Bonuses, Financial Lobbyists Turn Focus To Defeating Obama’s Budget

As Roll Call reported this morning, financial services lobbyists “have moved into hyperdrive” in an attempt to soften taxes on bailed-out bonuses. The lobbyists working for the financial industry are organized into a group known as the Financial Services Roundtable.

Last year, the Roundtable lobbied aggressively to prevent “legislation from limiting executive compensation.” Scott Talbott, a senior lobbyist for the Roundtable, told the New York Times, “we are opposed to provisions on executive pay.

During the debate over the economic recovery package, the Senate passed the Wyden/Snowe amendment which would have severely limited the bonuses paid by bailed out firms. However, the amendment was removed from the legislation at the last minute in conference. The removal was agreed to by staffers working for Sen. Chris Dodd (D-CT) and the Obama administration. On Rachel Maddow’s show earlier this week, Sen. Ron Wyden (D-OR) said that financial industry lobbyists were the individuals primarily advocating the change:

What happened, Rachel, was we got it through the United States Senate and then like, with so many issues, all the lobbyists came out in droves and somehow magically, the amendment disappeared. It seems to me now we‘ve got an opportunity to get this job done right but it didn‘t have to happen.

Protecting bonuses and excessive compensation aren’t the only goals for the lobbyists. They are now working with other special interests to defeat key provisions of Obama’s budget:

– Talbott and Roundtable lobbyists are fighting provisions in the Obama budget to administer “fees on banks and maybe even the entire financial industry to recoup the costs of the U.S. government’s financial rescue efforts.” [Dow Jones Newswire, 3/6/09]

– The Roundtable is taking “aim at the president’s proposal to end subsidies for private student loan providers.” [Bloomberg, 2/27/09]

– The Roundtable is teaming up with mortgage industry lobbyists to defeat provisions in the Obama budget to end loop holes for America’s wealthiest people. [Mortgage Orb, 3/13/09]

The AIG bonuses and the current efforts by Roundtable lobbyists add new weight to the challenge issued by President Obama to special interest lobbyists: “I know they’re gearing up for a fight as we speak. My message to them is this: So am I.”


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