I don't like to steal other people's catch phrases (just their posts), but, well, quelle surprise!:
Companies Already Lobbying Fed on Financial Rules, by Michael Crittenden, WSJ: U.S. firms eager to shape newly-passed financial laws have wasted no time in lobbying the Federal Reserve and other agencies, according to new details released Thursday by the central bank.
Summaries of 11 meetings involving Fed staff and outside corporations and advocacy groups highlight the high-stakes rulemaking that will occur as U.S. regulators seek to implement the wide-ranging financial overhaul legislation. The meeting log shows representatives from Visa Inc. met with Fed staff just two days after President Barack Obama signed the Dodd-Frank bill into law on July 21.
The topics of conversation at that meeting: debit cards and interchange rates charged to merchants. ... The records show Bank of America Corp., J.P. Morgan Chase & Co. and American Express Co. have all met with Fed staff at least once since mid-July to discuss the interchange issue.
Firms such as Goldman Sachs Group Inc. and Citigroup Inc. have also discussed tough new rules for derivatives with Fed officials, among others. ...
It isn’t just financial firms seeking to discuss the potential changes. The Fed on Aug. 20 hosted a discussion with a group representing firms that use derivatives to hedge risks, so-called “end users”. Those present included executives from Safeway Inc. and Boeing Co., as well as representatives from the American Petroleum Institute and U.S. Chamber of Commerce. ...Notice any interest that aren't being represented here?
The phrase "If they're too big to fail, they're too big to exist" has been heard a lot recently, but I'd add that: "If they're too big for Congress and the Fed to say no to, they're too big to exist."
It appears to me that many firms lobbying Congress and the Fed are, in fact, this big, and the question is whether we will do anything about it. I'm not optimistic that those with the ability to change things will do so as it would involve going against the interests of major campaign contributors. I would love to write a post entitled "Quell Surprise" about how wrong I am about this, I just don't think it's going to happen.