This Day On The Street
Continue to site right-arrow
This account is pending registration confirmation. Please click on the link within the confirmation email previously sent you to complete registration.
Need a new registration confirmation email? Click here
TheStreet Open House

Five Dumbest Things on Wall Street: Aug. 21

Lockheed's Empty Lobby

Now that the F-22 fighter jet has been shot down in Congress, Lockheed Martin (LMT - Get Report) should lobby for its lobbying money back.

The Bethesda, Md-based defense contractor spent $3.3 million in the second quarter lobbying on tactical aircraft and other defense systems, according to a recent filing. In addition to Congress, Lockheed lobbied the departments of Defense, State, Commerce and Homeland Security, NASA, and the White House's Office of Management and Budget.

Boy, the price of peddling influence sure has skyrocketed. Not like the good old days when a nice bottle of wine and some show tickets would get you an intercontinental ballistic missile.

The company did not name specific weapon systems it lobbied for during the three-month period, but you can bet your bottom dollar that the F-22 topped their list. Earlier this year, Lockheed was trapped in a dogfight between the Pentagon and lawmakers in states with jobs at stake that wanted additional funding to buy more Cold War-era fighter jets.

Even as Lockheed's agents wined and dined every elected official in the 202 area code to save the F-22, Defense Secretary Robert Gates already had it locked in his sights a la Tom Cruise in Top Gun. In April, Gates said the jet "does not make much sense anyplace else in the spectrum of conflict."

Ultimately, the Democratic-controlled Congress killed plans to buy more of the Lockheed fighter jets after a White House veto threat. The victory was a big one for President Obama, who did his own lobbying to secure the necessary votes by sending Vice President Joe Biden into the fray.

Now that's one loose cannon that even Lockheed's millions can't match.

Dumb-o-meter score: 75 -- Note to Gates: You should know by now that conflicts on Capitol Hill rarely make sense.

3 of 5

Check Out Our Best Services for Investors

Action Alerts PLUS

Portfolio Manager Jim Cramer and Director of Research Jack Mohr reveal their investment tactics while giving advanced notice before every trade.

Product Features:
  • $2.5+ million portfolio
  • Large-cap and dividend focus
  • Intraday trade alerts from Cramer
Quant Ratings

Access the tool that DOMINATES the Russell 2000 and the S&P 500.

Product Features:
  • Buy, hold, or sell recommendations for over 4,300 stocks
  • Unlimited research reports on your favorite stocks
  • A custom stock screener
Stocks Under $10

David Peltier uncovers low dollar stocks with serious upside potential that are flying under Wall Street's radar.

Product Features:
  • Model portfolio
  • Stocks trading below $10
  • Intraday trade alerts
14-Days Free
Try it NOW
Only $9.95
Try it NOW
14-Days Free
Try it NOW

Check Out Our Best Services for Investors

Dividend Stock Advisor

David Peltier identifies the best of breed dividend stocks that will pay a reliable AND significant income stream.

Product Features:
  • Diversified model portfolio of dividend stocks
  • Updates with exact steps to take - BUY, HOLD, SELL
Trifecta Stocks

Every recommendation goes through 3 layers of intense scrutiny—quantitative, fundamental and technical analysis—to maximize profit potential and minimize risk.

Product Features:
  • Model Portfolio
  • Intra Day Trade alerts
  • Access to Quant Ratings
Options Profits

Our options trading pros provide over 100 monthly option trading ideas and strategies to help you become a well-seasoned trader.

Product Features:
  • Actionable options commentary and news
  • Real-time trading community
Try it NOW
Try it NOW
Try it NOW
To begin commenting right away, you can log in below using your Disqus, Facebook, Twitter, OpenID or Yahoo login credentials. Alternatively, you can post a comment as a "guest" just by entering an email address. Your use of the commenting tool is subject to multiple terms of service/use and privacy policies - see here for more details.
Submit an article to us!
UYG $143.43 -0.19%
FAS $119.61 -0.37%
AAPL $123.22 -0.82%
GOOG $548.13 -1.30%
LMT $202.24 0.84%


DOW 17,712.66 +34.43 0.19%
S&P 500 2,061.02 +4.87 0.24%
NASDAQ 4,891.2190 +27.8570 0.57%

Partners Compare Online Brokers

Free Reports

Free Newsletters from TheStreet

My Subscriptions:

After the Bell

Before the Bell

Booyah! Newsletter

Midday Bell

TheStreet Top 10 Stories

Winners & Losers

Register for Newsletters
Top Rated Stocks Top Rated Funds Top Rated ETFs