Opening the Window on Foreign Lobbying


In 2008, Bermuda’s influential reinsurance industry needed some help. Successive seasons of monster hurricanes in the United States, where much of its client base is, had cost these insurers of insurance companies $22 billion in losses. Eager to avoid a repeat and unable to change the weather the companies and Bermuda’s government turned to something they could influence: The U.S. Congress.

At the behest of his government’s lobbyist, Premier Ewart Brown of Bermuda met in June with key congressmen, among them the powerful House Ways and Means chairman, Charles Rangel, D-N.Y., and two Democrats from states in hurricane alley, G.K. Butterfield of North Carolina and Bennie Thompson of Mississippi.

The sessions, Brown boasted later in Bermuda’s Royal Gazette, were part of a “very successful trip” that included “meetings with people who were not even on the schedule.”

In fact, the success was almost immediate. Read more…