Wall Street And Washington Share Millions Of Dollars, Lot Of People

The close relationship between Wall Street and Washington belies their 200 mile separation and theoretically differing goals.

By spending money on campaigns and lobbyists, The financial industry has managed to give itself something of a voice in the halls of Congress, regulators’ offices and even the White House. Of the top ten firms with employees donating to Romney’s campaign, eight are big banks, according to Federal Election data cited by Bloomberg. In addition, Wall Street spent more than $100 million last year on lobbying while the provisions for the Dodd-Frank financial reform law were being finalized, according to The New York Times.

But it’s not just money that Wall Street is sending to Washington. It’s people too, with major officials like President Obama’s chief of staff Jacob Lew and top regulators like Commodity Futures Trading Commission chairman Gary Gensler having spent time working at a big bank at some point in their careers.

And the revolving door moves in the other direction as well. As of last year, at least 285 members of Congress were registered lobbyists, according to data from the Center for Responsive Politics cited by the NYT.

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