Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Ray LaHood Steps in the Crony Revolving Door

Markie Oles emails:
Glad those revolving door laws are so strict!  He can't lobby his old agency, but can lobby to Congress!
The Chicago Tribune reports:
Ray LaHood, the former U.S. transportation secretary and Illinois ex-congressman, is joining the law firm DLA Piper in Washington and Chicago, the firm said.

LaHood, 68, a Republican, was transportation chief during President Barack Obama's first term. A Peoria native, he served in Congress from 1995 to 2009.

LaHood will become a senior policy adviser at the business law firm and will not lobby, said Jill Zuckman, a spokeswoman for LaHood.

Under so-called revolving-door laws to prevent conflicts of interest, Cabinet members who leave the government are subject to a two-year ban on lobbying at their former agency, but they may lobby Congress immediately

1 comment:

  1. Prosecutors Balk, Bankers Walk

    One of the most disturbing realities of the 2008 financial crisis is that no Wall Street executives have been held accountable. After searching more than five years for the reason some people have gotten away with the financial equivalent of murder, I think I have finally figured it out: It’s the revolving door, stupid.

    The chance for senior government officials to make millions of dollars after their public service ends convinces them -– subliminally or not -– to pull their punches. No doubt that’s why Jimmy Cayne, the former chief executive officer of Bear Stearns & Co., continues to enjoy playing bridge and golf, his $400 million-plus fortune, his sprawling mansion in Elberon, New Jersey, and his duplex at the Plaza Hotel.

    It also explains why Dick Fuld, the former CEO of Lehman Brothers Holdings Inc., was able to form Matrix Advisors to consult on mergers and acquisitions, even though he had been a trader, not an M&A banker. Even if the firm has no clients, it doesn’t much matter: Fuld testified before Congress that his 2000-2007 Lehman compensation was about $310 million. He later conceded it could have been $350 million. The real number is closer to $520 million, according to people who prepared and studied Lehman’s public filings.

    When Stan O’Neal resigned from Merrill Lynch & Co. in 2007, less than a year before it almost went bankrupt, he was given a parting gift of $161.5 million and a board seat -- which he still holds -- at Alcoa Inc.

    The dossier of executives being rewarded for bad behavior goes on and on. The question is: Why have prosecutors allowed Wall Street executives to slither away into the 1 percent, or one-tenth of 1 percent, without paying a financial penalty or serving time? After all, as the Financial Times reported, about 3,500 bank executives went to jail after the 1980s savings-and-loan crisis, which wasn’t nearly as devastating as the 2008 debacle.