White House in New Push for Changes on Wall St.
The Obama administration redoubled its efforts on Tuesday to overhaul the nation’s financial regulations, saying it would not back down from its efforts to restrict the trading activities of banks and to create a consumer agency to regulate financial products.
In an attempt to thwart fierce lobbying against those measures, among others, the Treasury secretary, Timothy F. Geithner, summoned leaders of the United States Chamber of Commerce, the American Bankers Association, the Financial Services Forum and other groups to a meeting on Thursday to urge them not to obstruct the legislative effort. <Continue reading.>
Wall Street shifting political contributions to Republicans
Commercial banks and high-flying investment firms have shifted their political contributions toward Republicans in recent months amid harsh rhetoric from Democrats about fat bank profits, generous bonuses and stingy lending policies on Wall Street. The wealthy securities and investment industry, for example, went from giving 2 to 1 to Democrats at the start of 2009 to providing almost half of its donations to Republicans by the end of the year, according to new data compiled for The Washington Post by the Center for Responsive Politics.
Commercial banks and their employees also returned to their traditional tilt in favor of the GOP after a brief dalliance with Democrats, giving nearly twice as much to Republicans during the last three months of 2009, the data show. At the same time, total political donations by the major banks and investment houses alike dropped in the waning months of that year.
The nascent shift came even before the White House announced proposals for a new tax on banks and a curb on some of their riskiest trading activities. <Continue reading.>