"This is the crux of the biscuit"
From Ryan Grim on HuffPo ("Wall Street Banks Tricking Little Guys Into Lobbying for Them")":
Wall Street titans, recognizing that they have something of a credibility problem when it comes to opposing regulatory reform, are enlisting more sympathetic, everyday folks to lobby on their behalf on Capitol Hill.
Bankers, brokers and swaps dealers have been browbeating their clients -- farmers, fuel companies, airlines, municipal power companies -- who are the "end users" of financial derivatives: Lobby Congress against reform of the derivatives market, the bankers say, or the cost of your derivative deals will skyrocket.
"There are many end users who just don't understand the issue, so they're heavily influenced by anybody who does," said Jim Collura of the New England Fuel Institute.
"Many of these guys are influenced by one or both of the following: It's either someone from the financial community whom they've known or respected. It may be their broker, their financial adviser, their swap dealer, whoever. Or they're a member of a trade group and they're getting hammered constantly with: 'You're going to be put out of business; you're not going to be able to hedge; you're not going to be competitive anymore' -- including some of my members," Collura said.
Senate Banking Committee Chairman Chris Dodd (D-Conn.) said he sees evidence of the bankers' influence when end users lobby him. "The end users have been basically used by the major investment banks," he told HuffPost Tuesday.
Rob Johnson is a Senior Fellow and the Director of the Project on Global Finance at the Roosevelt Institute.