Wall Street’s top trade group is fighting to fix its image amid what it calls a “populist overreaction” to the financial crisis, Bloomberg reports. Top aides to former Treasury secretary Henry Paulson are leading the “city-by-city, grassroots” campaign focused on politicians and the media. The securities industry “must be perceived as part of the solution,” say trade-group documents.
The Securities Industry and Financial Markets Association is keeping Paulson’s aides’ law firm on retainer for some $70,000 a month. A Democratic polling firm and Republican lobbying group are also at work on the effort; the documents suggest getting less-vilified regional securities firms to lobby local lawmakers. “The mess is so big that we all have to work together,” say the minutes of one meeting.