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Dec. 3, 2015

U.S. Chamber of Commerce’s Attacks on Wall Street Reform Are Based on Policies Harmful to Small Businesses and Consumers, Report Shows

Analysis Highlights How Chamber Is Proxy in Washington for Big Banks

WASHINGTON, D.C. – The U.S. Chamber of Commerce’s sweeping attacks against Wall Street reform are based on policies unsupported by evidence, harmful to small business and consumers, and largely beneficial to Wall Street, according to an analysis by Public Citizen’s U.S. Chamber Watch.

The analysis is contained in the first of three reports on the Chamber’s attempt to undermine policies that benefit Main Street. Titled “Undermining Dodd-Frank,” the report provides an overview of the Chamber’s assault on reforms initiated after the 2008 economic collapse, which was fueled by reckless Wall Street practices.

“After crashing the economy and then receiving trillions of dollars in taxpayer bailouts, the megabanks aren’t welcome in Washington,” said Bartlett Naylor, financial policy advocate for Public Citizen. “So they lobby through proxies such as the Chamber, which erroneously claims to represent the corner grocery store and other small businesses.”

Public Citizen’s report documents some of the Chamber’s most outrageous positions and shows its tendency to protect the nation’s largest banks. For example, the Chamber criticizes modest safeguards on complicated derivative transactions where 90 percent of the market involves only five large banks. The Chamber also invokes Main Street when attacking consumer safeguards against credit card industry abuses, even though seven banks control 74 percent of this sector.

“The Chamber’s agenda doesn’t follow evidence or logic,” said Don Marlais, a consultant and the report’s author. “Instead, the agenda contains a series of big business, anti-consumer talking points with a common deregulatory theme.”

Subsequent reports, which Public Citizen will release over the next few weeks, will detail the Chamber’s attacks on two important creations of the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act: the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau and the Financial Stability Oversight Council.

Read the report.

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Public Citizen’s U.S. Chamber Watch project promotes greater transparency and accountability in American politics by shedding light on the lobbying, campaign spending and misinformation campaigns of the largest corporate lobbying group in the country, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, as well as on the large corporations that provide the majority of its funding.

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