Wall Street CEOs Up Pressure for Grand Bargain in the Lame Duck Session

(photo: tbennett / flickr)

As soon as the election is over expect a powerful renewed push for a “grand bargain” that cuts entitlements. Already Erskine Bowles and Al Simpson have raised $25 million for the Fix the Debt campaign to push for a deal in the lame duck session, and we now have the top Wall Street executives laying the groundwork to really put pressure on Congress after the election.

Today, CEOs of 16 of the largest financial companies sent a letter to Congress urging them to reach a bipartisan debt deal. From the letter:

We write today to you to work together to reach a bipartisan agreement to avoid the approaching “fiscal cliff,” and take concrete steps to restore the United States’ long-term fiscal footing. The consequences of inaction – for stability in the global financial markets, economic growth, for millions of Americans still without work, and for the finical circumstances of American businesses and households – wold be very grave. […]

But merely avoiding the fiscal cliff is not enough. We further urge you and your colleagues to enact legislation that truly restores the nation’s long-term fiscal soundness.

This is not CEOs merely pointing out that the fiscal cliff would be bad and should be eliminated. They want dealing with the fiscal cliff to be used as an excuse for pushing through a very unpopular “bipartisan” deficit deal.

The significant political dynamics that prevent President Obama from making such a deal in his first term will hopefully stop it again, but the active lobbying of some of the richest men in America can make movement more likely. As we have seen for years Wall Street money sadly has an absurd level of influence in Congress.

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