Posts Tagged ‘financial reform’

SEC rules on Pay to Play

Friday, July 2nd, 2010 by Vbhotla

Eric Brown at Political Activity Law reports on big pay to play news from the Securities and Exchange Commission.

According to a press release from the SEC – “The Securities and Exchange Commission today voted unanimously to approve new rules to significantly curtail the corrupting influence of “pay to play” practices by investment advisers.”

The decision is in three main parts:

  • It prohibits an investment adviser from providing advisory services for compensation — either directly or through a pooled investment vehicle — for two years, if the adviser or certain of its executives or employees make a political contribution to an elected official who is in a position to influence the selection of the adviser.
  • It prohibits an advisory firm and certain executives and employees from soliciting or coordinating campaign contributions from others — a practice referred to as “bundling” — for an elected official who is in a position to influence the selection of the adviser. It also prohibits solicitation and coordination of payments to political parties in the state or locality where the adviser is seeking business.
  • It prohibits an adviser from paying a third party, such as a solicitor or placement agent, to solicit a government client on behalf of the investment adviser, unless that third party is an SEC-registered investment adviser or broker-dealer subject to similar pay to play restrictions.

Watch SEC Chairman Mary L. Schapiro’s discussion of the new prohibition here.

The rules come into effect 60 days after their publication in the Federal Register.

CRP Releases Report Exploring Congress-Lobbyist Ties

Wednesday, June 23rd, 2010 by Vbhotla

Since the financial reform debate kicked off in 2009, 1,447 former federal employees were hired to lobby Congress and federal agencies. Out of these, at least 73 were former members of Congress, accounting for 47 percent of overall former members who registered to lobby during this period. Their party affiliations are almost equally divided; 35 Democrats and 38 Republicans.

This is according to a report from The Center for Responsive Politics and Public Citizen covering ties between Congress and lobbyists in the financial sector. The report contains data from the past year and spans organizations in the financial services sector, including banks, investment firms, insurance companies, and associations that commissioned former federal employees to lobby in 2009-10.

The report also said 17 of these former members have at one point or the other served on House or Senate banking committees, while 42 of the lobbyists had formerly served in some capacity in the Treasury Department.

The members of Congress currently lobbying on behalf of the financial sector include Steve Bartlett, Rep. (R-Texas), 1983-1992, lobbying for Financial Services Roundtable; Birch Bayh, Sen. (D-Ind.), 1963-1981, lobbying for Beacon Capital Partners and Equity Office Properties; and Dennis Eckart, Rep. (D-Ohio), 1981-1992, lobbying for CP Development Co. Read the full list and report here.