Major banks use one lobbyist to team up on Dodd-Frank


The international law firm, Cleary, Gottlieb, Steen and Hamilton LLP, is lobbying Congress on behalf of three of the world’s biggest financial institutions regarding the derivatives market — one of the major issues tackled by the Dodd-Frank financial reform legislation, according to disclosure forms filed this year.

A lawyer with the firm, Edward Rosen is lobbying Congress on behalf of Credit Suisse, BNP Paribas and Wells Fargo regarding the Commodity Futures Trade Commission’s (CFTC) proposal to regulate swaps dealers, increase transparency in the derivatives market and force standardized derivatives into a clearinghouse to ultimately lower the risk incurred from making such swaps. The CFTC which will oversee the derivatives market is currently working on the rulemaking process.

Using derivatives, financial institutions could pass on risky assets to more stable institutions capable of handling the strain, and economists believe that this was one of the major causes of the financial crisis that struck the nation in 2008. The derivatives market was completely unregulated and was trading somewhere around $40 trillion – more money than actually exists in the world’s economy.

Since Dodd-Frank passed, Rosen has registered as a lobbyist for 10 banks and organizations lobbying on provisions in the financial reform bill that deal with derivatives regulations. It wasn’t until this year that the exact CFTC regulations were cited as the specific issue being lobbied on. Last year the law firm reported receiving more than $1.5 million from their clients to work on financial matters.

According to Rosen’s bio, he is an expert in the complicated world of derivates and complex securities serving as counsel to the Financial Markets Association and advising clearinghouses and investment banks, etc.

Cleary, Gottlieb, Steen and Hamilton LLP is also the law firm that provided anti-trust counsel to T-Mobile’s parent company in the sale of the wireless provider to AT&T – a sale that is currently under review by the Department of Justice.