Top 4 Banks Contribute 7 Times as Much to Reps Voting Yes on Derivatives Bill

admin | April 03, 2013

The 2010 Dodd-Frank bill requires banks to spin off their speculative derivatives activity into non-bank subsidiaries (Section 716) that are not eligible for public funding in case of losses. But a bill advancing in Congress, H.R. 992 or the "Swaps Regulatory Improvement Act," would create new exemptions to this requirement that, according to financial reform advocates, would allow banks to keep their publicly-funded backing for almost all of their derivatives activity.

"A vote for H.R. 992 is a vote to expressly allow bailouts of our largest banks on Wall Street," says Americans for Financial Reform in a letter to the House. "At a time when there is bipartisan agreement that subsidies to too-big-to-fail banks must end, this legislation moves in exactly the wrong direction."

The bill was approved by the House Agriculture Committee on March 20th by a bipartisan vote of 31-14. During the debate, Rep. Collin Peterson compared the bill to past votes that many believe facilitated the financial crisis (the Commodity Futures Modernization Act and the repeal of the Glass-Steagall Act), warning his colleagues, "You can vote any way you want, but this could come back and haunt you."

Data: MapLight has analyzed contributions from the PACs of the four biggest commercial banks (Bank of America, Goldman Sachs, JPMorgan Chase, and Citigroup), which collectively hold 93.2% ($208 trillion in notional value) of all derivatives contracts, to members of the House Agriculture Committee since 2009.

  • On average, House Agriculture Committee members voting for H.R. 992 have received 7.4 times as much money from the top four banks as House Agriculture Committee members voting against the bill.
  • House Agriculture Committee members voting in favor of H.R. 992 have received $8,726, on average, from the top four banks, while House Agriculture Committee members voting against the bill have received $1,179, on average, from the top four banks.

Correction: A previous version of this post included contributions to Mike Rogers (R - MI) instead of Mike Rogers (R - AL). The current version has been updated to exclude contributions to Mike Rogers (R - MI) and include contributions to Mike Rogers (R - AL), who is a member of the House Agriculture Committee.

Methodology: MapLight analysis of campaign contributions to committees associated with members of the House Agriculture Committee voting on H.R. 992 from the four largest commercial banks since Jan. 1, 2009, based on latest available data from the FEC as of March 26, 2013 and on the roll call provided by the House Agriculture Committee.

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