Banks That Want The Bailout Passed Need To Grease A Few More Palms

To pry $700 billion from the government, it takes more than a bank collapse or two.

Dealbook: The centre for Responsive Politics, a Washington nonprofit group that studies money and politics, reports that on average, lawmakers who voted in favour of the bailout bill have received 51 per cent more in campaign contributions from sources in the finance, insurance and real estate industries — or FIRE industries, for short — over their congressional careers than those who opposed the emergency legislation.

…In this election cycle, the 140 House Democrats who voted for the bailout bill collected 78 per cent more from the FIRE industries than the Democrats who opposed it. Over their careers, they collected 88 per cent more, the data show.

On the Republican side, the gap was smaller. Republicans in the House that voted yes on the bailout bill got an average of 23 per cent more in contributions from the FIRE industries in this election cycle than House Republicans who voted against it. In the long run, they got 53 per cent more.

Of the 37 Democrats that sit on the House Financial Services Committee, 25 voted for the bill, including the committee chairman, Barney Frank of Massachusetts. He received nearly $800,000 this election cycle from sources in the FIRE industries.

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