Econ 350-01 Summer 2021
THIRD PROJECT ASSIGNMENT
The third set of class presentations will focus on the issue of the revolving door and the political economy of financial regulation. We will explore the relationships between economic, financial, and political power. Each student will be given one of the companies listed below. For the assignment, write a 3-5 page paper (8 – 10 paragraphs) that addresses the following questions concerning your company. Be sure to contribute original work, and to cite your sources and quotations throughout the paper. A high level of collegiate writing is expected.
For the company assigned to you, “Goldman Sachs”
Answer the following questions:
a. Briefly describe the history of your company.
b. What role did the company play in the financial crisis? What funds did it receive from the federal government? From where?
c. Did the structure of the company change from the financial crisis? How?
d. Do any of the directors or managers of the company have any current or past ties to the financial regulatory system? Can you find any evidence of a revolving door? (A revolving door is when people use their experience from being a public employee to go to work for a private company, and use their contacts to obtain government contracts, or when they go from a private company to work as financial regulators, with inherent conflicts of interest.) Do any former employees now work as regulators? Do any former regulators now work as employees?
e. Is there any consistent pattern of campaign contributions to the Bush, Obama, Trump or Biden Administrations, Republican National Committee, Democratic National Committee, or specific congressmen or senators? Who have they contributed to in the 2016, 2018 and 2020 elections? What are lobbying expenditures for the company?
f. Have you found any actions that would be considered illegal? Unethical?
g. Given all of this, how has the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act of 2010 affected this institution? What provisions most directly affect the company? What was the institution lobbying for in the bill, and did it get what it wanted? Has the company lobbied concerning the Economic Growth, Regulatory Relief, and Consumer Protection Act of 2018 or recent legislation? How will this new law affect the company?
Your paper should address one of the following companies: