Bankers No Longer Feel So Welcome at Political Conventions

By Wack, Kevin | American Banker, August 27, 2012 | Go to article overview

Bankers No Longer Feel So Welcome at Political Conventions


Wack, Kevin, American Banker


Byline: Kevin Wack

Four years is a long time, but even longer when comparing banks' relationship with Washington since the last round of political conventions.

How much has changed since Barack Obama and John McCain were formally nominated in 2008? Just a global financial crisis, the longest wave of bank failures since the savings and loan debacle, an unprecedented bailout and a just-as-unprecedented regulatory overhaul.

With the industry still fragile, many banks that had been a mainstay of past conventions are passing on the Republican gathering in Tampa starting Monday, and the Democratic convention in Charlotte the following week.

"In this economic environment, there is a major drop-off in participation by financial institutions," said Richard Hunt, president of the Consumer Bankers Association.

Let's compare that just to the 2008 Democratic convention in Denver. Bank of America, which would soon have a shotgun wedding with Merrill Lynch and then get a $45 billion lifeline from the government, was honored with a glitzy party. In attendance a to celebrate B of A's investments in green technology a were Democratic members of Congress and liberal celebrities such as Susan Sarandon.

Long before any derivatives trading losses in its London investment office, JPMorgan Chase hosted a reception for female governors during the Democratic gathering. Attendees included Janet Napolitano and Kathleen Sebelius, now, respectively, the secretaries for homeland security and health and human services. Before becoming President Obama's first chief of staff, up-and-coming Democratic Rep. Rahm Emanuel was also at the party, speaking to the press about his longstanding friendship with the bank's chief executive, Jamie Dimon.

"They are a very important financial institution in troubled times for the financial industry in America," Emanuel said.

The industry's top concerns about a potential Obama administration involved credit-card regulation, which was enacted the following year, and attempts a ultimately unsuccessful a to allow bankruptcy judges to "cram down" mortgage debt. But both were later overshadowed by other seismic changes in banking.

While there was recognition in Denver that the banking sector was facing trouble, no one foresaw the magnitude of the crisis that would hit the following month.

"The storm hadn't quite come ashore," said Cornelius Hurley, director of the Morin Center for Banking and Financial Law at Boston University, "but there was a lot of fear and foreboding."

Referring to what has happened since then, Hurley said, "It's been mind-boggling."

There have been two key developments in the industry's relationship with politicians since 2008. First, the industry's backlash against the Dodd-Frank Act, enacted at a time when Democrats controlled the White House and both houses of Congress, has brought banks closer in alignment with one political party a the GOP a than at any time in recent memory. Financial regulation was not an overly partisan issue for most of the 1990s and 2000s, but it is today.

This trend can be seen most plainly in the industry's campaign contributions. In this year's election cycle, commercial banks are favoring Republicans over Democrats by a larger percentage than in any election since at least the 1980s, according to campaign finance data from the Center for Responsive Politics. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Sign up now for a free, 1-day trial and receive full access to:

  • Questia's entire collection
  • Automatic bibliography creation
  • More helpful research tools like notes, citations, and highlights
  • Ad-free environment

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

Bankers No Longer Feel So Welcome at Political Conventions
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Full screen

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.