Ackerman, a member of the House Financial Services Committee, gained quite a name for himself at a hearing in February 2009, in which this tough guy from Queens gave a severe (and deserved) bawling-out to regulators for failing to catch Bernie Madoff. Yet Ackerman slugged it out on behalf of Wall Street about a year after the camera lights were turned off, fighting a rule that would have required banks to shed their derivatives subsidiaries.
Since 1989, when Opensecrets.org started tracking such things, financial-services professionals have dominated the list of top contributors to Ackerman, with contributions from the real estate and securities and investment sectors topping $1 million since 1989. That trend continued into 2010, which was his last and final bid for reelection.
It's not just Ackerman and the New York delegation. The top contributors to Barney Frank of Dodd-Frank fame, ranking Democrat on the House Financial Services Committee, is a who's who of banks, mutual funds and financial-services companies.
Ackerman is stepping down in January, but Wall Street can expect plenty of help from both sides of the aisle in the years to come, Democratic platform rhetoric notwithstanding. They may be liberals on many subjects, but when it comes to Wall Street, they tow the line. And the Street is not afraid to show its appreciation.Gary Weiss's most recent book is AYN RAND NATION: The Hidden Struggle for America's Soul, published by St. Martin's Press. Follow him on Twitter: @gary_weiss