February 2, 2010

Obama's tax proposal has disturbed Wall Street so much, according to this New York Times story, that the CEOs are going over the heads of their own lobbyists to plead their case directly with senators. (Perhaps even lobbyists draw the line at outright bribes?) This was my favorite sentence in the entire story: "The big banks, the lobbyists say, have become increasingly alarmed that the legislative process may move in unexpected directions outside their control."

Heh. We can only hope so:

WASHINGTON — President Obama’s proposals to tax and curb the activities of Wall Street have thrown an unpredictable element into the debate over financial regulatory reform. They also have touched off an intensive new round of lobbying and raised questions in Congress over whether his plan will add urgency or merely bog things down.

For two months, four pairs of Senate Banking Committee members — each with one Democrat and one Republican — have been meeting behind closed doors to reach a bipartisan compromise on regulatory reform. The House already adopted its version, largely along partisan lines, in December.

The new White House approach has already prompted the Senate panel, led by Senator Christopher J. Dodd, Democrat of Connecticut, to interrupt those negotiations. On Tuesday, in the first of several hearings on Mr. Obama’s proposals, the committee will hear from Paul A. Volcker, a former Federal Reserve chairman, and the deputy Treasury secretary, Neal S. Wolin.

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