Citigroup hires lobbyist who helped cause the S&L crisis


Financial crises are very lucrative for the Republican party. One way to judge that is to measure the success of lobbyist Richard Hohlt, who has given hundreds of thousands of dollars to Republican candidates since pushing through savings & loan deregulation, which led to the last great banking bailout overseen by a Bush. Now that same lobbyist is advising Citigroup (C), which is holding $306 billion in government cash ($45 billion in preferred stock) plus loan guarantees (up to $261 billion), according to The New York Times.

There is no question in my mind that Citigroup Chairman Dick Parsons ought to consider the wisdom of his decision to hire Hohlt. The lobbyist has a track record that would bring joy to the heart of anyone who loves record bailouts of financial institutions that go off the rails due to deregulation. And Hohlt even played a part in outing former CIA agent Valerie Wilson, whose husband had the nerve to contradict Bush administration claims about Iraqi access to nuclear material.