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Firms That Got Bailout Money Keep Lobbying

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http://www.nytimes.com/2009/01/24/business...mp;ref=business

The financial giant Bank of America says it is no longer lobbying the federal government about its unfolding bank bailout. After receiving $45 billion in bailout money, lobbying was just too unseemly.

“We are very sensitive to the fact that we have taxpayer money,” said Shirley Norton, a spokeswoman for the company.

Citigroup, recipient of another $45 billion, made the opposite call. While trying to keep a low profile, the company is still fielding an army of Washington lobbyists working on a host of issues, including the bailout. In the fourth quarter, it spent $1.77 million on lobbying fees, according to its lobbyists’ filings.

The different approaches from the two banks that have received the most money underscores the growing dilemma facing private companies, which increasingly deal with the federal government not only as rule-maker but also as shareholder, lender and trading partner.

Pressing federal policy makers risks the appearance of recycling public money to advance a private agenda, while staying on the sidelines could put a company at a comparative disadvantage.

Citigroup and Bank of America are hardly the only two financial firms to confront the issue. During the last three months of 2008, at least seven other firms receiving bailout funds — American Express, Capital One, Goldman Sachs, KeyCorp, Morgan Stanley, PNC and Bank of New York Mellon — all lobbied the government about the bailout, according to a review of their most recent disclosure reports.

The automakers that received billions under the same program lobbied as well: including General Motors; its financing arm, GMAC; and Cerberus Capital Management, the private equity firm that controls Chrysler. Other recipients of federal financing also lobbied Congress, the Treasury or both about other matters.

The American International Group, taken over by the government during an injection of more than $40 billion last fall to prevent the company’s collapse, has discontinued all its federal lobbying; it is now in effect government-owned. But its former executives continue to lobby.

What a farce.

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  • 284 Brexit, House prices and Summer 2020

    1. 1. Including the effects Brexit, where do you think average UK house prices will be relative to now in June 2020?


      • down 5% +
      • down 2.5%
      • Even
      • up 2.5%
      • up 5%



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