New York - Representatives of the largest investment banks on Wall Street, including Goldman Sachs, Morgan Stanley and JP Morgan Chase, met recently in New York to discuss the urgent need for the Trump Administration and GOP controlled Congress to remove the "tyrannical, oppressive and unneeded" regulations put in place after the financial crisis in 2008, creating severe hardships for the firms. They were optimistic that the laws would soon be removed by executive order, and were cheered by the appointment of many of their colleagues to top positions in the administration.
The banks reported that they collectively were forced to spend nearly a billion dollars in 2016 alone on political contributions and lobbying Congress to remove burdensome laws such as Dodd-Frank, passed in 2010 in response to the huge taxpayer bailouts extended to most of them after the 2008 collapse. The regulations reduced the banks ability to "develop great innovative products" like subprime mortgage-backed securities and credit default swaps, faulted by most for creating the 2008 collapse, in the years following passage of the bill in Congress.
"The money we have had to spend on lobbying and contributions could be better spent increasing pay and bonuses to top talent and management at our institutions", exclaimed one banker.
"In addition to the hardships encountered by our top traders and managers, some receiving only several million dollars a year in bonuses instead of the tens of millions they might have been accustomed to before 2008, there have been no taxpayer bailouts of major "too big too fail" institutions for several years, eliminating the consulting work needed to fix banks that are threatened with collapse and thus further reducing income in our industry", said another attendee.
Participants in the meeting were thankful that the unfair situation created during the Obama Administration had come to a close, counting themselves among the victims of policies enacted during the previous 8 years. "We stand together with the unemployed auto workers, carnage victims in American cities, and the forgotten middle class, in working together with the new administration to allow free enterprise to move forward again" said one trader.
In a related development, most of the companies participating in the conference reported sharply higher revenues and profits for fourth quarter and yearend 2016, and many of their share prices recently hit all time highs, despite the unfortunate situation they find themselves in and the onerous spending required for lobbying and campaign contributions.