Treasury DepAssSecBanFin To Munch Us Taxpayers as Lobbyist

( – promoted by buhdydharma )

President Obama’s Deputy Assistant Secretary of Banking and Finance at the Treasury, one of Tim Geithner’s underlings, Damon Munchus has a great new job !  

Unfortunately, he’s feeling a little bit media shy right now, and can’t be reached for comment.

But I found a Press Release. Oh, happy day !  

Oh, lookie, he’s got company!  Jeb Mason, Policy Advisor to Henry Paulson, Bush’s Treasury Secretary.…

For Immediate Release Contact: Ben Dupuy, (202) 337-1661,

March 1, 2010

Advisors to Geithner, Paulson Join The Cypress Group; Open New York, Dallas Offices

(Washington, D.C) —   One of the first senior-level officials to leave the Obama Treasury Department is headed to The Cypress Group, a financial services lobbying and consulting firm based in Washington, D.C. Damon Munchus, who served as the Deputy Assistant Secretary for Banking and Finance in Treasury’s Office of Legislative Affairs, will open the firm’s New York office as a Managing Director. The Cypress Group will also open an office in Dallas headed by Managing Director Jeb Mason, who served as the as Deputy Assistant Secretary for Business Affairs under Secretary Henry M. Paulson Jr. With these additions, The Cypress Group now employs former senior-level advisors to the past three Secretaries of the Treasury as well as Secretary Geithner.

At the Treasury Department, Mr. Munchus'[s] responsibilities included acting as principal liaison between the U.S. Congress and Treasury regarding financial institutions and capital markets, counseling senior Treasury officials on all pending financial matters, and creating and directing legislative strategy in order to achieve the Administration’s goals before Congress. Prior to his Treasury Department position, Mr. Munchus served as a member of President Obama’s FDIC Review Transition Team, a Vice President within the Investment Banking Division of Jefferies and Co., > and a senior financial analyst for credit portfolio strategies at Fannie Mae.

The Cypress Group Press Release Mar 1 2010 continued:

Mr. Mason, who served as Policy Advisor to Secretary Paulson, was awarded the Distinguished Service Medal by the Secretary for his contributions during the financial crisis. Prior to joining Treasury, Mr. Mason served the White House as Associate Director for Strategic Initiatives, advising senior White House staff and Cabinet officials on a myriad of issues including tax, budget, economic, and international issues.

Cypress Advisory, a division of The Cypress Group, is a boutique consulting and research firm based in Washington, D.C., with offices in New York and Dallas. Cypress Advisory provides institutional investment managers with actionable intelligence and analysis of political processes with outcome-specific probability and immediate market relevance. Cypress Advisory’s team of professionals has distinct edge in their research and views of legislative and regulatory changes affecting capital markets, financial services, and special situations.

Cypress Advocacy, a division of The Cypress Group, is a boutique lobbying firm based in Washington, D.C., with offices in Baton Rouge. Cypress Advocacy provides a premium, bespoke service that delivers insightful, client-tailored representation. Cypress Advocacy’s team of professionals has deep ties to the policymaking and advocacy communities offer a distinct edge in effectively representing clients’ interests to the appropriate policymakers

Dallas. Baton Rouge.  Oil Country. Nuclear Power.  Boutique lobbying. Yee haw.

From HuffPo…

“Damon Munchus signed the Obama Administration’s ethics pledge, and he is committed to fulfilling it,” said Ben Dupuy, a partner at Cypress.

When he joined the Obama administration, Munchus — like all other appointees — signed an agreement not to lobby the administration for two years after leaving the government.

But the pledge says nothing about lobbying Congress, which is absolutely part of what Munchus will do for his new employer, The Cypress Group.

Faite Accomplie! Deploy Parachute D’Oro !

An example of what Cypress does, from their own website:…

Cypress was retained by a private equity client interested in buying distressed bank assets. We engaged Treasury, FDIC, Federal Reserve and OCC personnel to gather intelligence on their processes and programs for TARP, CPP, TLGP, and PPIP. As new programs were introduced and withdrawn, Cypress concluded and recommended that our client focus on the resolution and receivership process at the FDIC as the most fruitful target for private investment, saving our client time and money as it moved forward with its investment strategy.

Translation. We told clients how to make money off the taxpayer’s bank bailouts as big banks ate little banks.

~Some Cypress clients~

As listed on their webpage…



•Wells Fargo…


American Insurance Association   National Consumers League & Consumer Federation of CA call for investigation of Ohio based Key Bank, for predatory lending practices 6/3/2009  (pdf of letter here:…  )

Key Bank recieved 2.5 Billion in TARP funds.   Key Bank also was fined 1.1 Billion by the IRS for tax evasion.

•US Bank    the parent company is US Bankcorp, based in Minneapolis, MN.  In Nov 2008 they got $6.5 Billion from the Emergency Economic Stabilization Act. They repaid the TARP funds in 2009.

•ISDA   International Swaps and Derivatives Association

•Managed Funds Association   “MFA is the voice of the global alternative investment industry. Its members are professionals in hedge funds, funds of funds, and managed futures funds…

Investment  Managed Funds Association ( MFA ) looks to build biggest hedge fund database…

“The Managed Funds Association is jumping into the data collection business with an effort to build the most comprehensive hedge fund industry database available.

The ultimate objective, according to MFA representatives, is not to compete with existing hedge fund databases, but to strengthen and fine-tune the association’s ability to lobby lawmakers.

•Bank of America…   Bank of America’s ex CEO’s Ken Lewis retirement package was 83.6 million

•Advantage Capital Partners   venture capitalists

•National City  aka NatCity Investments   Bank that was taken over by PNC Financial Services in Oct 2008, for 5.2 billion, with funds from US Treasury, per wikipedia

•Freddie Mac    The Chicago Tribune 3/26/09  Freddie Mac Scandals Began during Emanuel’s Watch…   Freddie Mac lost 50 Billion in 2008

•Capital One  (Credit Cards)  2/18/2010… Capital One will return $775,000 to more than 18,000 customers they charged fees to whom had closed their accounts and had no outstanding balances from 2004 to 2006.

•Capmark  One of the largest Commercial real estate companies, did 288 billion in loans, which filed for bankruptcy in Oct 2009. Largest shareholder was GMAC, the financing arm of General Motors…

•Shaw    Engineering and support services for clients in energy,chemicals, environment, emergency industries.

Latest press releases…

BATON ROUGE, La., Feb 10, 2010 (BUSINESS WIRE) — The Shaw Group Inc. (NYSE: SHAW) today announced it has been awarded a five-year worldwide environmental remediation services contract from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Engineering and Support Center, Huntsville (Ala). Shaw will provide munitions removal activities, environmental compliance and remediation services at U.S. Department of Defense sites around the world. This is Shaw’s second consecutive worldwide environmental remediation contract with the Huntsville Center.

As part of its Munitions and Range Program, Shaw employs more than 200 Department-of-Defense-approved explosive ordnance disposal technicians, safety personnel and quality control personnel, supported by multiple engineering disciplines and scientists. Over the past year, the federal government awarded Shaw more than $100 million in munitions response work, which included projects ranging from site assessments and investigation to full-scale removal and destruction. To date, Shaw has completed more than 2,000 munitions-related response projects, including unexploded ordnance, discarded military munitions and munitions constituents.

BATON ROUGE, La., Feb 16, 2010 (BUSINESS WIRE) —   J.M. Bernhard Jr., chairman, president and chief executive officer of The Shaw Group Inc. (NYSE:SHAW), was in attendance today when President Barack Obama announced the first conditional federal loan guarantee for new nuclear plant construction. President Obama, along with Secretary of Energy Steven Chu, announced that Southern Company was awarded the guarantee for Vogtle Electric Generating Plant in Burke County, Ga.

Shaw and Westinghouse Electric Company, its AP1000 Consortium team member, are providing engineering, construction and procurement services for two AP1000(TM) nuclear power units and related facilities currently under construction at Vogtle.

Shaw and Westinghouse are under contract to provide engineering, procurement and construction services for six new nuclear units in the U.S., the first contracts awarded in nearly 30 years for new nuclear builds, as well as four units currently under construction in China.  

•CitiGroup   Singapore, Abu Dhabi Face $10 billion loss on UBS, Citigroup  3/2/2010  Business Week…

There were some profitable deals too, such as Qatar and Abu Dhabi funds that waited until the depth of the crisis to invest in London-based Barclays Plc and Credit Suisse Group AG of Zurich. Yet one third of the winnings, which totaled $12 billion, resulted from a regulatory change rather than timing.

After the U.S. government required troubled banks to have more common equity instead of weaker tiers of capital, Citigroup Inc. had to offer favorable prices for its preferred shareholders to convert to common. That led to windfall profits of $4 billion for Kuwait and GIC (Singapore) on investments that would have lost $9 billion under their original agreements.  

Abu Dhabi Investment Authority didn’t benefit because it didn’t buy preferreds when it came to the aid of New York-based Citigroup. So it may face a $4.8 billion paper loss when it is forced to convert its so-called equity units to shares starting this month at a price almost 10 times higher than the current value. Abu Dhabi filed an arbitration claim against Citigroup, which has the most writedowns and losses from the credit crisis, alleging the bank wasn’t forthcoming about its financial health when it was seeking capital. In a December statement, Citigroup said the claim is “without merit.”

Citigroup received $25 Billion in TARP bailout money and the US Federal govt. is backing $306 billion in Citigroup loans, per wikipedia, in 2008.  Citigroup had 1.8 trillion in assets in 2009 according to Forbes, and is one of the “too big to fail Four”  which are Bank of America Merrill Lynch, JPMorgan Chase, Wells Fargo, and Citigroup.…


While there has been a lot of clamor for various WH administration officials connected to regulating the financial sector to resign, remember, be careful what you wish for, because you never know where they’re going to end up. It’s hard to print Monopoly money this quickly.  


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  1. This isn’t getting much media play except Huffpo has it, and Michael Moore’s blog.

    Another law blog said Munchus started this job last week.

    Interesting, eh ?

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