Securities Group Gets Off the Sidelines

Posted September 29, 2008 at 11:38am

Wall Street lobbyists have been largely silent this week as Congressional leaders huddled behind closed doors to hammer out the historic bailout package. Now, with the House vote on the measure about an hour away, one of the financial service industry’s heaviest-hitting groups is asking its members to burn up the lines to lawmakers in hope of pushing late-deciders to support the package.

“We are now just hours away from Congress’s vote on legislation vital to our industry,” reads an “action alert” e-mail from the Securities Industry and Financial Markets Association that went out around noon. “We urgently need you, and your employees, to make calls before noon today to the House of Representatives and ask them to pass The Emergency Economic Stabilization Act of 2008 to bring stability to our economy and increase credit availability for the benefit of every American citizen.

“As this morning’s news reports have made clear, no one is sure of the outcome. Therefore, we need everyone to show support for this critically important legislation. We expect the vote at noon today, so please contact your Member of Congress immediately and please forward this e-mail to your employees, asking them to do the same.”

The group represents the biggest players on Wall Street, including Goldman Sachs, the company formerly headed by Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson, the architect of the proposal.