NEW YORK — The financial industry has long been a draw for former political operatives seeking a bigger paycheck and New York lifestyle. But with the big banks now under constant assault from reformers, regulators and some members of Congress, the flow of top talent from Washington to Wall Street has become a small flood.
Two of the biggest blue-chip firms in the industry, Goldman Sachs and Morgan Stanley, will soon have top-level executives with the ear of the CEO who once occupied senior jobs in the White House and the U.S. Treasury. Other banks including Citigroup, Credit Suisse and JPMorgan Chase also have staffed up with former political and regulatory officials.
The current exodus to New York reflects something of a historic shift.
In the past, traffic mostly moved the other way. Washington drew from Wall Street to help politicians understand the impact of policy on financial markets. Now the flow has largely reversed as Wall Street increasingly needs to understand — and shape — the way Washington works. Critics call the trend potentially inappropriate influence peddling. Wall Street says it’s just hiring the best talent out there for the way the world works now. Whatever the case, it’s undeniably happening.
“It has really turned around, and it’s now much more about Wall Street collecting political knowledge and influence,” said Charles Geisst, a Wall Street historian at Manhattan College. “And no matter what people on Wall Street will tell you, they remember their 1930s and 1940s history very well, and they know they lost those battles and they are determined not to lose this one.”
Read More at politico.com . By Ben White.
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