Knowing that their necks are on the chopping block, US banks have been spending a fortune lobbying to change the rules. The Charlotte Observer reports that lobbying spending by the five biggest banks increased 12 percent in the first three quarters of 2011 over the same period last year. Well Fargo alone spent $6 million.
The New York Times estimates that the banks have spent $100 million lobbying to water down the Dodd-Frank legislation that sought to control America's rampant financial services sector that nearly destroyed the global economy .
And the banks are casting their nets far and wide when it comes to lobbying. They're also targeting Occupy Wall Street. MSNBC reports that Washington financial services lobbying firm Clark Lytle Geduldig & Cranford has urged the American Bankers Association to spend $850,000 "to construct 'negative narratives' about the protests and allied politicians. The memo also asserts that Democratic victories in 2012 would be detrimental for Wall Street and targets specific races in which it says Wall Street would benefit by electing Republicans instead."
That can only mean one thing: the banks are starting to take the protests seriously. And if the lobbying over regulation is anything to go by, they'll be pulling out all stops. Bankers would be one of the most powerful lobby group America has produced. Which is why they are treated like a protected species.