Wall Street and Government Revolving Door Spins at 'Dizzying' Pace

by: Michael Panzner

Lobbyists

(Image: Source)

For those who want to know why hardly anybody in the financial industry has been called to account (or fired or locked up) for the role they played in bringing about the worst financial crisis this century, or why the meltdown we experienced in 2007-2008 hasn't spawned the kinds of reforms that past crises have, look no further than the following Washington Post article, "Report: More than 1,400 Former Lawmakers, Hill Staffers Are Financial Lobbyists":

Even for Washington, the revolving door between government and Wall Street spins at a dizzying pace.

More than 1,400 former members of Congress, Capitol Hill staffers or federal employees registered as lobbyists on behalf of the financial services sector since the start of 2009, according to an exhaustive new study issued Thursday.

The analysis by two nonpartisan groups, Public Citizen and the Center for Responsive Politics, found that the "small army" of financial lobbyists included at least 73 former lawmakers and 148 former congressional staffers connected to the House or Senate banking committees. More than 40 former Treasury Department employees also ply their trade as lobbyists for Wall Street firms, the study found.

Some of the biggest names highlighted in the study include former Senate majority leaders Robert J. Dole (R-Kan.) and Trent Lott (R-Miss.); former House majority leaders Richard K. Armey (R-Texas) and Richard A. Gephardt (D-Mo.); and former House speaker J. Dennis Hastert (R-Ill.). Ex-Rep. Vin Weber (R-Minn.) has the largest number of financial-services clients of any former lawmaker, representing 13 companies and groups, including Deloitte, Ernst & Young and the Real Estate Roundtable, the report shows.