A recent report concludes that the U.S. Chamber’s aggressive lobbying in Congress to eliminate accountability and oversight helped cause our nation’s current financial crisis. The report was released to the public and contained some extremely interesting information relating to how the Chamber has worked to protect wrongdoers and in the process has hurt millions of people. In the report, payments from bailed-out AIG to the Washington corporate lobby were exposed. As we all know, the U.S. Chamber was the strongest supporter of the $700 billion taxpayer bailout, which is more than just a little weird – it’s bizarre. That’s because the Chamber spent the last decade fighting to eliminate corporate accountability.
The lack of accountability and oversight were major factors that led to the financial crisis. Now the Chamber is pushing stronger regulation and oversight which is a total reversal of its position. The U.S. Chamber has been paid millions by large corporations to limit the rights of shareholders, roll back Sarbanes-Oxley reforms, prevent disclosures to investors, and protect boardrooms while preventing consumers from holding them accountable, according to the report.
We all know how bad American International Group (AIG) has been. It’s revealed in the report that AIG has made payments to the U.S. Chamber totaling $23 million from 2001 to 2005. AIG, labeled by one commentator as “the new Enron,” was backed by the Chamber while engaging in massive corporate fraud before receiving its recent government bailout.
One thing is certain: the U.S. Chamber played a big part in destroying all checks on corporate excess, accountability and greed. The American people are now paying for it. The Chamber has put countless Americans in financial jeopardy while it protected corporations like Enron, Tyco, AIG, Countrywide, Lehman Brothers, and a host of others.
The goals of the Chamber have been to sell tort reform – protect corporate wrongdoers – and work for de-regulation of Corporate America. The result was to allow the financial and drug industries to do pretty much what they wanted to do. The U.S. Chamber’s lobbying and litigation have put Wall Street ahead of Main Street and corporations above ordinary Americans. If you want to read “Behind the Bailout: How the U.S. Chamber Created the 2008 Financial Crisis,” you can visit:
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