What influence does the financial lobby have over banking regulation and other financial markets?
Corporate Europe Observatory has decoded the list of beneficiaries of the European Central Bank’s corporate bond purchasing scheme. The results are disturbing, unless you think oil, fancy cars, motorways, champagne, and gambling are good places to put public money.
In the run up to the UK referendum on EU membership on 23 June, Corporate Europe Observatory has tabled a series of freedom of information requests to find out how UK finance lobbies have been influencing the referendum negotiations and the Capital Markets Union. But the Brexit-Bremain referendum seems to be a freedom of information black hole.
The ongoing EU-US trade negotiations, TTIP, seek to bring rules on both sides of the Atlantic together by means of so-called regulatory cooperation. Our new report with LobbyControl "Dangerous Regulatory Duet" finds that regulatory cooperation procedures have already been used to delay, water down and prevent legislation in the public interest.
In 2015 the European Central Bank tightened its ethics rules in the wake of a major scandal over privileged information it gave to select financiers. In the future there will be more restrictions on the way the leadership associates with representatives of financial corporations. But the discoveries from the scandal seems to have no bearing on the way the ECB's top brass deals with the quasi-lobby Group of Thirty.
Juncker´s transparency initiative shows only tip of the iceberg
The investment bank Goldman Sachs has revised its registration in the EU's lobby transparency register and has substantially increased its declared lobby spend from the 2013 figure of less than €50,000 to €700,000-€799,999 for 2014. This compounds Corporate Europe Observatory's view that Goldman Sachs' original registration was not a full reflection of its EU lobbying activity. Yet despite this under-reporting, for five months the register secretariat took little action and Goldman Sachs was able to secure at least four meetings with top Commission officials.
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