- Politico -
While Congress and President Barack Obama have been bashing big American banks as the cause of the nation’s economic troubles, foreign banks have been quietly increasing their presence in Washington with unprecedented lobbying and campaign spending.
The foreign companies have found a lucrative niche, essentially acting as brokers for the federal government’s bailout money. Domestic banks with the size and expertise for that role are largely banned from competing for the contracts because they have been recipients of the emergency funds.
“There is tremendous opportunity for the foreign banks, and it makes an enormous amount of sense for them to build up their lobbying power in Washington,” said Dick Bove, a financial strategist at the research firm Rochdale Securities.
“The foreign banks have come to Washington to take advantage of the shift in financial business that’s occurring in this country because of the anti-financial sentiment of the American government,” Bove said. “There is an opportunity here. They got the money. They got the freedom to operate. And we need the money, and we’re constricting the ability of our banks to function.”
Put simply, he said, “everything is right for them to come in and pick the bones of American banks.”
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