Why did AIG take the fall for the 2008 financial crisis while other big banks survived just fine?Continue reading
A Sunlight investigation finds that many companies on our Fixed Fortunes 200 list are buttering up party committees on both sides of the aisle with valuable hard money contributions.Continue reading
Between 2007-2012, America’s most politically active corporations spent $5.8 billion on federal lobbying and campaign contributions. A Sunlight Foundation analysis suggests, however, that what they gave pales compared to what they got: $4.4 trillion in federal benefits.Continue reading
With the Senate Banking Committee already holding hearings over Goldman Sachs’ now-infamous aluminum market manipulations, Slate’s Matt Yglesias wonders if there may be a backlash. He notes that the victims are no longer the diffuse and poorly-organized residents of the mythologized “Main Street.” Instead, they are now the big industrial purchasers of aluminum, notably the big beverage companies and automakers. As Yglesias argues:
The key thing here is that while Goldman Sachs is a big company with political clout in the United States, so is MillerCoors. So is Coca-Cola. So are PepsiCo and the Dr Pepper Snapple Group. So is General Motors. When you get a situation where large industrial firms want the federal government to do something that banks don't to do, then the odds of the banks losing get pretty good.Yglesias has a good point. When resources and clout are substantial on both sides, resources and clout are much less likely to be determinative. When both sides have the money to get in the game, other factors (such as, say, the low public esteem of Goldman Sachs) may turn out to be equally important. Indeed, this could be a fascinating political battle, as business vs. business scraps often are. Who knows how it will play out? What we do know is what the current balance of resources looks like. And the current balance of resources comes down strongly on the side of securities and investment industry. Continue reading
Graphics by Ben Chartoff and Amy Cesal. Network analysis by Alexander Furnas. In the three years since President Barack Obama signed the Dodd–Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act, federal regulators charged with implementing it have opened their doors to the biggest banks over and over again – 14 times as frequently as they have to representatives of consumer and pro-financial reform groups, a new Sunlight Foundation analysis finds. By most accounts, the banks’ besiege-the-regulators strategy has yielded rich rewards in sapping, slowing, and stymieing regulations intended to prevent another massive financial crisis. The emerging consensus is that Dodd-Frank implementation is limping, while the big banks are poised to return to being the most profitable industry in the U.S. Sunlight’s analysis is based on logs of Dodd-Frank meetings at the Commodities Futures Trading Commission, the Treasury, and the Federal Reserve Board., available through Sunlight’s Dodd-Frank Meetings Tracker. Because of problems with data quality and comprehensiveness, we had to exclude two other regulatory agencies (the Securities and Exchange Commission and the Federal Deposit Insurance Commission). And because of the time involved in data cleaning, we also excluded 22 percent of reported meetings – those that did not include “active” players. (By “active” we mean organizations that showed up at least five times in meeting logs.) For more on the data, see our methodology section at the end of this post, and read our companion piece, “Dodd-Frank meeting data need improvement.” Still, the imbalances our analysis reveals are so overwhelming that we can be confident that they are not merely a feature of the reporting practices.Continue reading
House Republicans are on an anti-Dodd-Frank blitz, but with a populist twist, leading up to the financial reform law’s second birthday later this week.
The Republican-controlled Financial Services Committee has launched an "online survey," which asks users a series of questions about how Dodd-Frank affects “you, not Wall Street.” The survey comes as the committee has scheduled a half dozen hearings over a two-week period focusing on such topics as Dodd-Frank's impact on home mortgages, consumer choice, and access to credit and municiple finance.
We'll be covering one of those hearings — titled "Who’s In Your Wallet ...Continue reading
Bain Capital, the private equity firm that Mitt Romney has touted as the source of his business acumen and one of his opponents for the Republican nomination has labeled "vultures" is the largest source of political money for the former Massachusetts governor over the course of his career.
Current and former executives and family members of Bain Capital have contributed more than $2.7 million to Romney's federal and state campaigns, federal and state leadership PACs, the Restore Our Future super PAC that supports Romney, and his gubernatorial inauguration fundraising committee.
Sunlight analyzed federal campaign finance data from the ...Continue reading
On Sunday, Bloomberg News reported on an estimated $13 billion worth of income that banks gained by taking advantage of... View ArticleContinue reading
The Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) has been tasked, along with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), with setting new... View ArticleContinue reading