This week, bankers from all around the country have swarmed on Capitol Hill for no other purpose other than to defeat any attempt to regulate the behavior that made them rich and crashed the world economy to say that they love you.
Since bankers are shy, upon their arrival Republican Minority Leader John Boehner gave them some words of encouragement:
"Don't let those little punk staffers take advantage of you and stand up for yourselves," Boehner said.
It was very polite of Boehner to give that warning, as there is a real danger of bankers being taken advantage of by Congress. The bankers are so innocent and pure, their virtue so unchallenged, it is easy for Congressional staffers to walk right over them.
This visit had nothing to do with the financial regulation bill that Senator Chris Dodd introduced to the Senate Banking Committee on Monday, and which the committee will vote on next week. The bankers were just in the neighborhood, and thought it would be fun to hand out homemade, organic, gluten-free snacks to key members of Congress.
This comment by American Bankers Association President Edward Yingling on Wednesday, urging Senators to delay the bill as much as possible, so as to water it down as much as possible, was taken entirely out of context:
American Bankers Association President Edward Yingling urged delay in the financial reform effort, because "every day that passes gives more leverage to [Banking Committee Ranking Member Richard Shelby (R-AL)].
What? You aren't convinced? You think that they are coming to Capitol Hill to try and delay, water down, and even defeat Senator Dodd's legislation? How dare you!
Bankers are entirely uninterested in the goings-on in Capitol Hill. They are too embarrassed to ever hire a lobbyist. That is why, with the possible exception of their massive army of well-paid lobbyists, the bankers were as surprised as anyone that not a single new financial regulation has passed into law since the economy 18 months ago due to reckless bank behavior.
This has nothing to do with Senator Dodd's new bill at all. And, even if bankers were on Capitol Hill to try and influence the upcoming financial reform legislation--which they are not, this solely is a mission of love and gluten free snacks -- they would want to make it stronger. They want derivatives to be regulated. They want the creation of a strong, independent Consumer Financial Protection Agency. They want the end of "too big to fail" banks.
With the bankers all over Capitol Hill advocating for these reforms, it is entirely unnecessary that anyone else do so. There is no need to find out more about the bill, or to contact your member of Congress asking it to be stronger. The bankers are on Capitol Hill buying the world a Coke, so you have nothing to worry about.