Saturday, November 19, 2011

Lobby firm to bank: long term threat from Occupy Wall Street

Chris Hayes breaks the story this morning of a Wall Street lobbying firm that says the banks need to fight back hard against Occupy Wall Street, or risk consequences. That is, from their pitch to the bank:
Leading Democratic party strategists have begun to openly discuss the benefits of embracing the growing and increasingly organized Occupy Wall Street (OWS) movement to prevent Republican gains in Congress and the White House next year. We have seen this process of adopting extreme positions and movements to increase base voter turnout, including in the 2005-2006 immigration debate. This would mean more than just short-term discomfort for Wall Street firms. If vilifying the leading companies of this sector is allowed to become an unchallenged centerpiece of a coordinated Democratic campaign, it has the potential to have very long-lasting political, policy and financial impacts on the companies in the center of the bullseye.

It shouldn't be surprising that the Democratic party or even President Obama's re-election team would campaign against Wall Street in this cycle. However the bigger concern should be that Republicans will no longer defend Wall Street companies -- and might start running against them too.

This is impressive though of course is should be taken with a grain of salt: this is a lobby firm trying to drum up more business with its client, a bank. Lobby firms need business to keep going, so they make pitches that are sometimes turned down (the bank says, of course, that they have turned this one down). And even pitches that are accepted don't mean they're actually the right answer for the client.

But as Hayes points out, the bigger point is that this probably isn't the only document like it. This specific proposal may not be taken up, but it's evidence of the possible level of discussion amongst the target. And that says something.


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