February 13, 2014

Congressman In Charge of Overseeing Wall Street Records Video Praising Bank Lobbyist

Congressman Jeb Hensarling (R-TX)
Congressman Jeb Hensarling (R-TX)

Bank lobbyist Charlie Black occupies a warm place in Congressman Jeb Hensarling’s heart. “Charlie taught me a lot about politics, taught me a lot about legislation, and I’ve always sought his advice and counsel. He just does such a great job and demands so much respect on Capitol Hill,” says Hensarling in a video recorded last year.

Watch the video here:

Hensarling is the Republican chair of the House Financial Services Committee, which oversees regulations for Wall Street. Black, a veteran Republican lobbyist, works for a trade group that represents Goldman Sachs, Morgan Stanley, UBS, Deutsche Bank, PIMCO, CitiGroup and other financial firms to influence “financial services regulatory reform.”

In January of last year, Hensarling assumed the gavel of his committee. Much of the legislation passed under his watch has involved repealing big chunks of financial regulations. As the New York Times reported, internal e-mails revealed that CitiGroup lobbyists had in fact authored one of the deregulatory bills that sailed through Hensarling’s committee nearly word for word. Black’s client, the Securities Industry and Financial Markets Association, also helped support the CitiGroup bill.

Black’s career in politics spans several decades, including stints in campaign jobs in support of George H.W. Bush and the John McCain presidential campaign, along with lobbying gigs for interests including IBM and Jonas Savimbi, a brutal Angolan guerrilla leader.

Hensarling has maintained a tight relationship with the donor community on Wall Street. Early in his career, he was mentored by Phil Gramm, the Texas Senator famous for his work in removing limits on commodity trading, and for Gramm-Leach-Bliley, the law that destroyed the legal separation between banks, insurance companies and financial securities companies. To celebrate his ascension to the House Financial Services Committee, Hensarling took a ski trip at the Ritz Carlton in Park City, Utah with a number of financial industry lobbyists.

Hensarling recorded the video as a tribute to Black, who received an award from a professional society in Washington, D.C. dedicated to celebrating the ties between corporate lobbyists and politicians.