When the financial reform bill passed, surely the big firms, who spent tens of millions lobbying Congress, would be chastened. They would lick their wounds and reassess their strategies. Obviously, they wouldn’t jump headlong into influencing the implementation process, fearing a backlash from a public who isn’t keen on Wall Street. Surely they’d have to wait.
And in fact, they did. They waited two days.
U.S. firms eager to shape newly-passed financial laws have wasted no time in lobbying the Federal Reserve and other agencies, according to new details released Thursday by the central bank.
Summaries of 11 meetings involving Fed staff and outside corporations and advocacy groups highlight the high-stakes rulemaking that will occur as U.S. regulators seek to implement the wide-ranging financial overhaul legislation. The meeting log shows representatives from Visa Inc. met with Fed staff just two days after President Barack Obama signed the Dodd-Frank bill into law on July 21.
That meeting concerned interchange fees and debit cards. This would be the purview of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, I believe, but for the moment the Fed has jurisdiction, and the initial rules will mean a lot. So financial giants ran, not walked, to the Fed.
Other lobby meeting subjects include derivatives issues like proper applications of hedging risk and end-user exemptions.
I’ve said repeatedly that Dodd-Frank isn’t a law. It’s a promise to write a law later. And so of course the lobbyists would swoop in on the offices of those law-writers. Certainly the consumer and bank reform advocates don’t have the same kind of firepower – or in the case of the Fed, the influence.