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In 2008, Bermuda’s influential reinsurance industry needed some help. Successive seasons of monster hurricanes in the United States, where much of its client base is, had cost these insurers of insurance companies  $22 billion in losses. Eager to avoid a repeat — and unable to change the weather — the companies and Bermuda’s government turned to something they could influence: The U.S. Congress.
In fact, the success was almost immediate. On June 26, a day after meeting with the Bermuda delegation, Thompson introduced a bill to give businesses and homeowners in hurricane zones taxpayer-subsidized loans for storm windows and doors — a program that could also save untold millions for insurance companies by cutting damages in future hurricane seasons.
An examination of the records, which were filed in 2008 and cover activity during that year and the latter part of 2007, show how busy these special interests were:
* More than 280 lobbying firms collected $87 million in fees for representing 340 foreign clients, including governments, government-controlled organizations, political parties, separatist groups and a handful of for-profit firms.
* Lobbyists or other officials reporting under FARA contacted members of Congress, their staff, executive branch officials, journalists and others more than 22,000 times.
* Several prominent former lawmakers have signed on to represent foreign countries, among them ex-Senate leader Bob Dole (Taiwan and Montenegro) and former House Appropriations Chairman Robert Livingston (Turkey and others).
More than 280 lobbying firms collected $87 million in fees for representing 340 foreign clients, including governments, government-controlled organizations, political parties, separatist groups and a handful of for-profit firms.
Originally posted by Animal
You know, it sucks that here on ATS there is such a pension for attacking each other rather than actually discussing and issue.
Slush funds, front companies and secret payments are just a few of the illegal tactics multinational companies are using to fatten their wallets -- and increasingly, investigators are on to them, as this special edition of "Frontline" illustrates. Investigative journalist Lowell Bergman shows how the U.S. Justice Department is working with allies around the world to crack down on the billion-dollar business that international bribery has become.