Lobby launches 'candidate school' for bankers to run for office

Robert Rubin: Much of Dodd-Frank was 'necessary'

Bankers who want to run for office are in luck. A powerful lobbying group has launched a training camp designed to help bankers become politicians.

The American Bankers Association commenced taking applications on Tuesday for its first-ever “candidate school.” The pilot program is usually open to any banker who wants to run for state or federal office.

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The biggest bank lobbying group described which as a “comprehensive two-day program” which will take place, naturally, in Washington, D.C.

The ABA promised the candidate school will help bankers-turned-politicians learn how to “get out the vote,” conduct research, fill out paperwork in addition to also, of course, raise money.

however not just anybody can apply. which political training camp is usually only open to bankers in addition to also bank directors who have “concrete plans” to run for state or federal office within the next two election cycles. Candidates for school boards in addition to also town council need not apply.

So why is usually the ABA trying to recruit politicians by within its own ranks? To help shape banking legislation of course.

The ABA described which as part of its efforts to “promote a pro-growth policy environment.”

“When which’s time to set banking in addition to also economic policy, we strongly believe nothing beats real-world banking experience,” ABA President in addition to also CEO Rob Nichols said in a statement.

In some other words, bankers elected to Congress could help efforts to dial back regulation which the industry finds burdensome, such as parts of Dodd-Frank in addition to also others.

Related: Get ready for Trump’s team of Wall Street watchdogs

The ABA, which represents smaller, regional in addition to also large banks, is usually already the most prolific campaign contributor within the financial industry. The lobbying group gave $9.8 million to political causes last year, according to OpenSecrets. which was twice as much as the next closest bank lobby group in addition to also well ahead of big banks like Citigroup (C) in addition to also Wells Fargo (WFC).

The ABA noted which only 18 of the 535 members of Congress have a banking background.

which may also help which the current occupant of the White House went directly by the business world to the highest office within the land.

“which surely is usually a follow-on to Mr. Trump’s electoral success,” said NYU Stern School of Business professor Lawrence White.

President Trump also hasn’t been shy about surrounding himself with bankers, especially ones by Goldman Sachs. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin was a longtime Goldman banker, while top economic aide Gary Cohn was most recently the Number Two exec of the big Wall Street firm. Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross also had to step down as vice chairman of the Bank of Cyprus once he took office.

Related: Robert Rubin says Trump will hurt economy

Democrats also named bankers to their administrations. For instance, former President Obama tapped ex-JPMorgan exec William Daley as his chief of staff, while former President Clinton selected longtime Goldman Sachs senior exec Robert Rubin as his treasury secretary.

Asked about concerns of a revolving door between Wall Street in addition to also Washington, Rubin acknowledged to sy88pgw which there’s been a “tremendous loss of confidence in institutions in America.”

“I may be wrong, however I don’t think which’s because bankers went into government. I think which’s because the system hasn’t worked for most Americans,” Rubin said.

however does which mean voters are ready to elect more bankers to Congress? which wasn’t long ago which many Americans seemed to blame Wall Street in addition to also the financial industry in general for the 2008 financial meltdown. in addition to also there have been several more recent black eyes for the industry, including the fake account scandal at Wells Fargo in addition to also improper hiring tactics at JPMorgan Chase.

however White, the NYU professor, said he doesn’t think “being a banker is usually a barrier to being elected — even given the trauma of 2008.”

He said a bigger problem will be whether bankers are willing to “expose themselves to the level of public scrutiny” which comes with running for office.

“Mr. Trump was able to withstand which. however he seems exceptional in which regard. Can others?” White asks.

–sy88pgw’s Cristina Alesci contributed to which report.

sy88pgw (completely new York) First published March 14, 2017: 3:14 PM ET


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Lobby launches 'candidate school' for bankers to run for office

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