10 Jul 2012

Lobbying by the City : £92.8 million in 2011

I suppose it could be worse. Compared to the financial lobbyists in the USA, the total of £92.8 million spent by the financial sector last year on lobbying for their interests may seem like chicken feed. But today's report by the Bureau of Investigative Journalism which got a good writeup in the Guardian finally puts some numbers on the fire power of the City.

My congratulations to Nick Mathiason, Melanie Newman and Maeve McClenaghan who have spent the last four months compiling the data, and detailing the 129 organisations that are currently involved in some form of lobbying for the financial sector. You can now download a spreadsheet document with the list of contributions that they identified.

As I say, it could be worse. The amount of money that the City could potentially allocate to buying politicians could be way higher. And while the budgets of groups like Positive Money are so small, it is clear that this is going to be a tough fight to get the alternative positions an equal hearing.

The encouraging thing is that the financial lobbyists really don't have a leg to stand on. I would just love to hear one of these lobbying groups explain to the rest of us why it makes sense to give the banking sector the right to create money out of thin air, lend it to governments, and then charge interest on the loans. Go on, I defy you. Explain it!

And while you are explaining that one, come up with another argument why a financial transaction tax is "a bad idea" (to quote David Cameron), and yet banks charge credit card users 2-3% on every transaction made in a foreign currency for multiplying two numbers together.

No comments:

Post a Comment