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Does Lobbying Buy a Better Bailout?

- December 15, 2008


Bailout monies as a fraction of assets are on the y-axis. 2008 lobbying expenditures are on the x-axis. There is some tantalizing evidence that AIG’s lobby expenditures may have helped earn it a sizable bailout. AIG spent a lot of money on lobbying, far more than you would predict based on its size. And, as the graph shows, relative to its size, it got a large bailout.

This graph, several others, and commentary are a new, exclusive-to-The-Monkey-Cage, back-of-the-envelope analysis by Lee Drutman, who is a Ph.D. candidate in political science at the University of California, Berkeley (my alma mater) and also a Research Fellow at Brookings. He is quick to note that these findings are only suggestive.

But interesting nonetheless. The analysis is here (pdf).

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