August 2nd, 2010
01:50 PM ET
4 years ago

Wall Street's lobbying pricetag: $251 million

 The financial industry has spent $251 million on lobbying so far this year, according to a watchdog group.
The financial industry has spent $251 million on lobbying so far this year, according to a watchdog group.

Washington (CNNMoney.com) – The financial industry has spent $251 million on lobbying so far this year as lawmakers hammered out new rules of the road for Wall Street, according to the latest lobbying reports compiled by a watchdog group.

The financial sector spent more than any other special interest group from April through the end of June - a whopping $126 million, according to the Center for Responsive Politics' latest estimates. Wall Street banks, as well as insurance and real estate firms, hiked the amount they spent on lobbying by 12% in the second quarter compared to the same period last year.

In the first half of 2010, Goldman Sachs spent $2.7 million, just $100,000 shy of the total the firm spent on lobbying in all of 2009. The firm's reports to the federal government said it lobbied Treasury, White House and the Commodity Futures Trading Commission, as well as Congress.

Other banks also flexed their muscle on Capitol Hill this year. Citigroup Inc. spent $3 million and Bank of America Corp. spent $2.1 million on lobbying during the first half of this year, the Center for Responsive Politics reports.

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Filed under: CNNMoney.com • Wall Street
soundoff (29 Responses)
  1. geecee

    I can understand lobbying when you want to convince a legislator to rule in your favor because it helps your business or the American people in some way, but why is there money involved? Then it simply becomes a case of bribery. ALL politicians should be prohibited from taking even a dime from lobbyists or this mess in Washington will never end.

    August 2, 2010 01:55 pm at 1:55 pm |
  2. Timothy McVeigh would have been a teabag leader today

    This is why the average American has no voice.Their own elected officials are bought and sold.

    August 2, 2010 01:57 pm at 1:57 pm |
  3. Dale

    It kind of makes my $50 campaign contribution look weak.

    August 2, 2010 01:57 pm at 1:57 pm |
  4. Progressive from Texas

    I wonder what the current rate is for a Republican's vote/ It must be pretty cheap, because they appear to be constantly available to serve the needs of the corporate giants.

    August 2, 2010 01:58 pm at 1:58 pm |
  5. Russ

    With that kind of spending, is it any wonder that we should overturn the Supreme Courts decision on Campaign Financing? Same sort of crap. A ticket for big business to buy Congress intead of listening to will of the people. Sad, sad state of affairs for this country.

    August 2, 2010 02:07 pm at 2:07 pm |
  6. Chessnutz of Liverpool NY

    Yuppers, folks that is the American government bought and paid for by Wall Street, banking, Unions, PACs, Big Oil and other special interests.

    The whole concept that said " of the people by the people and for the people" was getting out of date huh?

    The November lets show what the people think of Congress...

    Fire them all!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    This fall vote "No to incumbents"

    Fire All incumbents!

    Congress allowed the American people to lose their jobs, their life's savings and their retirement. And then made the American people pay to bailout the ones who were responsible for the crime.
    All while supporting the special interests, lobbyists, Big business and the wealthy.
    You know what Congress, welcome to the ranks of the unemployed.

    August 2, 2010 02:08 pm at 2:08 pm |
  7. Naqib

    wow...
    To think people say Republicans are in wall streets pocket...

    or you could just think they spend all this on the minority party... there are those that naive or simply party blind to blieve they would spend that amount on the party that has no power... duh

    August 2, 2010 02:09 pm at 2:09 pm |
  8. Voice of Reason

    Can we just get the $$$ out of politics?! Are our nation's laws for sale – to be bought and sold at the going market rate?

    How about we simply remove ALL lobbying of members of Congress? The alternative is that these large corporations have to convince the American PEOPLE that something is good for them, instead of convincing our lawmakers that something will get them re-elected.

    If something was already a good idea for the people, then there would be no need for lobbying, right? So it follows that whatever they are spending a quarter-Billion dollars on is a bad idea... So glad we have this corrupt system of lobbyists to look out for us.

    August 2, 2010 02:14 pm at 2:14 pm |
  9. Voice of Reason

    I gotta ask – where does the half-Billion dollars GO? Is it cash donations (bribes)? Are we paying for junket outings for lawmakers? (no – it was a fact-finding trip to Tahiti, funded by Citibank...) Are they paying off the people with embarassing pictures of Senator Bedfellow?

    Really – Where does all that cash GO? $500 Million is nothing to sneeze at when you consider that it's being spent on only a few dozen lawmakers.

    I smell something fishy.

    August 2, 2010 02:18 pm at 2:18 pm |
  10. Don

    THIS IS DISGUSTING! Instead of hiring much needed employees; they are using funds to payoff government officials! How long is this non-sense going to be taking place? There are millions that have been out of work for way too long and this is why there is no money left over to make them productive. THIS IS WRONG IN SO MANY DAMN WAYS!!!!

    August 2, 2010 02:22 pm at 2:22 pm |
  11. DENNA

    Doesn't this just frost you? Instead of wasting all this money trying to buy their way, why didn't these banks and other institutions create work for unemployed Americans? There are some highly educated people out there out of work and these jobs would have been good for them and the economy – if the banks weren't trying to hard to avoid doing what is right. Seriously, lobbying should be outlawed. It rarely helps the ordinary American.

    August 2, 2010 02:24 pm at 2:24 pm |
  12. thor

    Well, at least these crooks do their businees out in the open. Unlike the drug companies that went behind closed doors and worked out a deal to support Obamacare.What about all that transparency that Obama talked about in his campaign? What about the secreat plan he's working on to give amnesty to illegals in this country without having to go through the normal legislative process?

    August 2, 2010 02:29 pm at 2:29 pm |
  13. Victim of GOP Taliban

    No mention of Mitch McConnell meeting secretly behind closed doors – Dick Cheney style – with Wall Street Lobbyists looking to cut a deal to block the recent "reform" bill?

    Otherwise this is a great column. It's about time the media finally starts to educate the rightie propeller heads and give them a reality check.

    August 2, 2010 02:32 pm at 2:32 pm |
  14. Crazy Harry

    This is a very sad story. Our government is bought and paid for by a bunch of businesses that have done and continue to do severe harm to our country and financial system in the name of "capitalism" or better put, GREED!

    August 2, 2010 02:37 pm at 2:37 pm |
  15. MikeH

    Gosh, how much good could that money do if it were applied to, say, improving education. Instead, the vast majority of it went into the pockets of disgusting fatbody RepubliKlans.

    August 2, 2010 02:39 pm at 2:39 pm |
  16. Donald

    Lot of money on table lol. speaking of money cons/TP/gop how we gone pay 4 those tax cuts 4 the rich u all r streaming about?

    August 2, 2010 02:42 pm at 2:42 pm |
  17. carlos

    the money spent by the banks to lobby against any type of reform, where do people think it came from??????? We, The People......and did it backfire BIG TIME......and from the repulsive repugnants....not a word.

    August 2, 2010 02:47 pm at 2:47 pm |
  18. No more Ds in Congress

    Not that I agree with everything that takes place on Wall Street, but when you are literally being attacked by the US President and the Federal government, you fight back any way you can. In this case, by lobbying.

    Unfortunately for Wall Street and 'Main Street', Obama-Frank-and-Dodd were able to pass a useless/expensive 'finance reform' bill that will raise costs on the average citizen.

    August 2, 2010 02:49 pm at 2:49 pm |
  19. jeff in sf

    Buying politicians is the best investment you can make. Where else can you consistently get a 1000% return on your money?

    August 2, 2010 02:54 pm at 2:54 pm |
  20. vegage

    This makes my stomach sick. And most of these lobbyists have the support of republicans. This how big business influence the legislators in their legislative work.

    August 2, 2010 02:54 pm at 2:54 pm |
  21. Sniffit

    And if you look at those numbers and don't think to yourself "well, now I know why we get milktoast pseudo-reform proposals from one side and obstructionist demogoguery from the other" then you are a complete and utter tool. Internalize the following:

    YOUR VOTES DO NOT COUNT.

    And they will continue to do so until big business/giant corporations are firmly put in their place. They're more of a threat to our democracy and our society than Iran, North Korea, muslim extremism and Jersey Shore combined. It's your own countrymen trying to rape you into indentured servitude.

    August 2, 2010 02:54 pm at 2:54 pm |
  22. David in Houston

    So, it only took $251 million to entice the republican party to oppose & water down the much-needed financial overhaul?

    Luckily for America there are still a few repubs who cannot be bought...

    A special thanks to Snowe, Collins, & Scott...three GOPers who refuse to allow the "special interests" to control their every vote!

    August 2, 2010 02:58 pm at 2:58 pm |
  23. al in memphis

    Banks would rather spend money on lobbying for favorable rules as opposed to lending to small business to help get the economy going. Do you need more proof that the bottom-line for banks is a matter of politics and big business? Small business are just here to make the economy go, do the heavy work like contributing to GDP and lowering unemployment.

    August 2, 2010 03:05 pm at 3:05 pm |
  24. Dano

    If I understand what "spent on lobbying" means, a lot of politicians received a lot of free meals & gifts, and they and their families had their airfare and hotel accomodations paid for as they went on "fact finding" missions in foreign locales. Many people would call that bribery, but I'm sure we commoners just don't understand the political process...or maybe we understand it perfectly!

    August 2, 2010 03:16 pm at 3:16 pm |
  25. Former Republican - Now Independent

    So $251M is the going price to buy off the Republican Party.

    I would imagine if one applied inflation to the value of 30 pieces of silver over 2000 years, or what the British would have given Benedict Arnold (had he suceeded) over a 233 year period, the answers would be close.

    August 2, 2010 03:16 pm at 3:16 pm |
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