It’s no surprise that banks have it easy right now. How is it though that they are posting record profits while thousands of Americans rally against them? It turns out that banks are spending more money on lobbying than ever.
Much to the chagrin of the Occupy Wall Street protesters, it looks doubtful that any regulations will come to the banking industry in the near future that will change how the institutions operate. Recent reports suggest that while quarterly profits for banks are at the highest they’ve been in four years, they are spending more money than ever in Washington lobbying against legislation that could cost them money.
A report in the Charlotte Observer reveals that lobbying has gone up 12 percent in the first three quarters of 2011 so far, with the industry throwing down $47 million already this year on lobbying. For Wells Fargo, one of the most successful banks in the country, they’re spending 80 percent more on lobbying this year than they did in 2010. The paper adds that at the current rate in lobbying increases, the amount spent before this year’s end should set a record for the sixth straight year.
“If these firms and these organizations keep spending money at the rate they’ve been spending it, they will shoot through the ceiling again this year,” Michael Beckel of the Center for Responsive Politics adds to the Observer.
And while the banks bring in more money than ever, the only one suffering are the customers, who are continuously suffered to increasing fees during a recession while bankster get big bonuses. With the number of lobbyists growing astronomically, the connection between Washington and Wall Street — the very root of the Occupy protests sweeping the country — is being made more and more clear.
“What we are facing here in the United States is a critical situation, a dangerous situation, where corporations are truly running the country – they are buying off, very blatantly, our politicians,” Occupy DC protester Ann Wright told RT. “That’s why we are out in the streets all over America to say no to this corruption and graft.”
“Who is lobbying for Wall Street? Wall Street has lobbyists in Washington DC, allowing them to take the money from the poor and give it to the rich,” added investigative journalist George Mapp. Radio host Stephen Lendman shares that exact sentiments as well, having told RT, “Whoever controls the power of money has supreme power. The bankers in Wall Street have the power of money and literally run the government. Goldman Sachs runs the government, JPMorgan Chase, Bank of America – they run the government. This has to stop. The people in the streets across America have to understand this and demand that the power of money returns to the Congress.”
To the Observer, Michael Beckel adds that those demands are likely not to be met.
“There’s a lot that these banks are interested in, and they want to make sure that they get as favorable treatment as possible,” says Beckel.
With more money going into Washington from Wall Street than ever, things seem to be only getting better for the banks.