The Banks Are “frustrated by a lack of political power”

This reads too much like a piece in the Onion. I checked three times to see if it was dated April Fool’s Day.

The psychology in this article in American Banker is fascinating. The banking industry has an army, navy, marine corps and air force of lobbyists, PACs and rich people devoted to becoming more powerful and more wealthy. So, it comes as quite a shock to read that they seem to be “frustrated by a lack of political power” in Washington, D.C.

“It comes back to the old philosophy of walking softly and carrying a big stick,” says Howard Headlee, the president and chief executive officer of the Utah Bankers Association. “But we’ve got no big stick. And we should. We have the capacity to have one, we just aren’t organized.”

To be clear, the financial sector has already spent $207,196,396 on elections in the 2012 election cycle.

So, in response to their perspective that they don’t have a voice in government, they’re creating a Super PAC – to make sure Congress knows their place.

“Congress isn’t afraid of bankers,” adds Roger Beverage, the president and CEO of the Oklahoma Bankers Association. “They don’t think we’ll do anything to kick them out of office. We are trying to change that perception.”

Let’s not forget that people… citizens are supposed to have a voice in government, not industries in which the sole purpose is to make money. If these industries are successful in getting the policies they need to make more money, the other things us people need that may not be profitable are ignored.

Here, they’re blatantly talking about how excited they are about how they can get much more targeted in their political activity. The regular PAC they already have, BankPAC, donates to many different candidates across the country, but with the Super PAC they can get “surgical.”

“This is much more surgical,” Packard says. “If someone says I am going to give your opponent $5,000 or $10,000, you might say, ‘Yea, okay.’ But if you say the bankers are going to put in $100,000 or $500,000 or $1 million into your opponent’s campaign, that starts to draw some attention.

“That’s why I think this is much more instrumental than BankPAC in a close race.”

In other words, “You better do what I say, Congressman X, because my money will actually make a difference in the outcome of your campaign.”

When the powerful begin to unashamedly take what they want, instead of attempting to do it in the shadows, you know it’s past time for systematic change.

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