Tag Archives: how washington works

Tim Carney Knows How Washington Works

Tim’s latest column, “Bail them out, regulate them, then work for them,” is a must-read.

Amy Friend, a former staffer for Sen. Chris Dodd, played a large role in writing the Dodd-Frank financial regulation bill. And she just got a new job at a lobbying firm. Tim explains:

There are two types of people on K Street: access people, who can get you in the door; and policy people, who know what’s on every page of every relevant bill and regulation. Friend is the latter. While business will dry up for other Dodd alumni on K Street, Friend is valuable because — to quote one Republican lobbyist — “she knows what’s on page twenty-three-[bleep]ing-hundred of that bill,” and every other page, too.

In other words, Friend didn’t just write a landmark piece of legislation — she wrote her meal ticket.

Tim doubts that Friend is corrupt. But her story is very common in Washington. Lobbying wouldn’t be such a booming business if regulation wasn’t, too. And the revolving door between the Hill and K Street can be very profitable, even when no corruption is involved. Most people forget that regulators act just as self-interestedly as the people they regulate.