Financial reform has been the legislative rallying call on Capitol Hill for the past few weeks, and like everything that happens in Washington, D.C., there’s a lot of money sloshing around behind the scenes.
Commercial banks, investment banks, and other securities-related firms have already racked up $40 million in lobbying expenses this year, a large amount but one that is already behind pace to match last year’s nearly $150 million in expenses. Campaign contributions in this mid-term election year are also sizable, with individuals and political action committees affiliated with these firms donating nearly $50 million so far.
Records at OpenSecrets.org also reveal some interesting trends. Affiliates of commercial banks tend to lean to the right when donating money to political causes, but less so in recent years (Republicans have received 55 percent of this year’s contributions, down from 64 percent in 2004). Investment banks and other securities-related firms tend to be more flexible with their money, with contributions in recent years closely mirroring the distribution of seats between Democrats and Republicans. Unsurprisingly, the most campaign-related money goes to the politicians with the post power or potential for power (e.g. presidential candidates, heads of committees, and so on).
Visit OpenSecrets.org for the full details. The “Commercial Banks” and “Securities and Investment” sectors are both within the “Finance, Insurance, and Real Estate” industry.
Graph courtesy of the Center for Responsive Politics.