Meet the FIRE Sector: How Wall Street is Burning Democracy

[Download the full report.]

Executive Summary:

Global Exchange's groundbreaking new nonpartisan report, “Meet the F.I.R.E. Sector: How Wall Street is Burning Democracy” contains not only extensive research tracking Wall Street’s investment in political power, but also analyzes exactly how Wall Street has secured ‘industry-loyal voting practices’ of Congress using whopping amounts of money. The report is accompanied by an infographic and legislative scorecard.

Key Findings:

Between 2006-2012 (so far) the Finance, Insurance, and Real Estate (F.I.R.E.) sector has invested a total of $4.2 billion in political power and influence including:

    • $829 million in congressional campaign contributions
    • $181 million in presidential campaign contributions
    • $2.8 billion in lobbying with over 18,400 lobbyists
  • Wall Street has spent $1,331 dollars per minute, every minute since 2006, to gain political influence.
  • F.I.R.E. sector campaign contributions and heavy lobbying of both parties are used to foster industry-loyal voting practices in Congress.
  • An average of 74% Senate Finance Committee votes matched the F.I.R.E. industry lobby position for seven bills examined; the total Senate’s average ‘industry loyalty rate’ matched the F.I.R.E. lobby position 66% of the time for the same bills.
  • To ‘put out the F.I.R.E.’ voters must expose and challenge the toxic campaign money from Wall Street that is putting corporate profits over the needs of a healthy democracy.

[Download the full report: Meet the F.I.R.E. Sector: How Wall Street is Burning Democracy.]

Legislative Scorecard:

“Meet the FIRE Sector” Legislative Scorecard correlates all Senate and House members’ votes on seven key pieces of legislation including the bank bailout, Dodd-Frank Wall Street reform, free trade agreements, and health care. In addition, the scorecard also documents the F.I.R.E. sector’s lobby position on each bill, F.I.R.E. campaign contribution totals to each legislator since 2006, and then tallies each legislator’s ‘Loyalty Rate’ to the F.I.R.E. sector based on what percentage of their votes matched the F.I.R.E. lobby position.

[Download the Legislative Scorecard]


Wall Street, aka the F.I.R.E. sector, has spent $1,331 dollars per minute, every minute since 2006, to gain political influence. Check out this colorful, 1-page infographic to see where the money goes, what corporations are included in the FIRE sector, and what you can to do ‘put the FIRE out.’

[Download the 1-page Infographic]


There are many complex factors that go into legislative votes, but corporate sponsorships shouldn’t be one of them.
It is up to us to reclaim and protect democracy.

 The Elect Democracy campaign is explicitly not telling you who to vote for… we’re asking you to follow the money. Our goals are not to influence the outcome of one election, but to spark dialogue about accountability, transparency, and stop Wall Street from burning our priceless democracy.  

Let's Put Out the F.I.R.E:


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