Exploring the Causes of the Financial Crises

The Times is publishing a series of articles exploring the causes of the financial crises.  The latest is a profile of Sen. Schumer.

Senator Schumer plays an unrivaled role in Washington as beneficiary, advocate and overseer of an industry that is his hometown’s most important business.

Donors describe the Schumer pitch as unusually aggressive: He calls repeatedly to suggest breakfast or dinner, coffee or cocktails. He enlists intermediaries to invite prospects to events and recruits several senators to tag along. And he presses for the maximum contribution — “I need you to max out,” he is known to say — then follows up by asking that a donor’s spouse and four or five friends write checks, too.

But last year, Mr. Kravis went to Capitol Hill to oppose a proposal that would have more than doubled taxes for executives at hedge funds and private equity firms like his, costing them up to $25 billion over 10 years.

Mr. Schumer had said publicly he would support the measure only if it also applied to executives at energy, venture capital and real estate partnerships, and he introduced alternative legislation that would do just that. His position was identical to that of lobbyists for a group paid by Mr. Kravis and other finance industry executives.

Comments are closed.