One bill that sailed through the House Financial Services Committee this month—over the objections of the Treasury Department—was essentially Citigroup’s, according to e-mails reviewed by The New York Times. The bill would exempt broad swathes of trades from new regulation.They are also paying quite well for the privilege of doing Congress's work for it, or themselves, anyway. According to the Times, the financial services industry has doubled its campaign contributions, and the "lawmakers who this month supported the bills championed by Wall Street received twice as much in contributions from financial institutions compared with those who opposed them."
In a sign of Wall Street’s resurgent influence in Washington, Citigroup’s recommendations were reflected in more than 70 lines of the House committee’s 85-line bill. Two crucial paragraphs, prepared by Citigroup in conjunction with other Wall Street banks, were copied nearly word for word. (Lawmakers changed two words to make them plural.)
This isn't just a Republican thing, though it was probably easier for Wall Street to insert itself so completely in the process with Republicans. Plenty of Democrats are playing along, too, including most of them on the committee that passed Citigroup's bill. The freshmen among them were rewarded with a field trip to Wall Street in "a tour organized by Representative Joe Crowley," where they got to hobnob with Lloyd C. Blankfein and Jamie Dimon.
It's a good thing we've got the backstop in the Senate of Elizabeth Warren on the Banking Committee. Otherwise Congress would be likely to just sell the whole place off to Wall Street.