The Wall Street Journal is running a piece on lobbying by financial firms, noting drops despite the heightened regulation proposed by the Obama administration. Some excerpts:
In the first three months of 2009, the financial sector spent $104.7 million to lobby Congress and the administration, down 8% from the same period last year, according to a Wall Street Journal analysis of the most recent data collected by the Center for Responsive Politics, a nonpartisan group that tracks the lobbying business. In each of the previous five years, the industry’s spending had risen.
The health-care industry — which three years ago surpassed finance as the top lobbying spender and faces a major overhaul initiative in Washington — increased outlays in the first quarter by 12% to $127.1 million. Lobbying spending across all business sectors was flat in the period, after rising 15% from 2007 to 2008.
I wouldn’t really say I’m surprised. First, they are under intense scrutiny by both the government and the public to be lobbying for what could only be less regulations. Second, they are perhaps more focused on improving their earnings and any buck they, particularly the TARP recipients, spend to lobby might not be viewed very positively by the others. Compared to health and energy groups, the financial, insurance and real estate (FIRE) industries are the biggest lobbyists to the governments.
Read the rest HERE.