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Sen. Warren Urges Wall Street To Disclose Financial Contributions

Massachusetts' senior senator called for transparency around large financial institutions' efforts to indirectly influence policymaking.

Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren in Framingham Wednesday, Dec. 4. Credit: Susan Scully Petroni
Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren in Framingham Wednesday, Dec. 4. Credit: Susan Scully Petroni

Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren Wednesday sent a letter to the nation's six largest financial institutions' CEOs, urging the companies to voluntarily disclose their contributions to think tanks. 

Currently, information on financial contributions to think tanks is not required to be made available to the public, threatening the credibility of these organizations' research and analysis.

"Policies by your institutions to conceal those contributions from public view are wrong.  Greater transparency will benefit your shareholders, policymakers, and, ultimately, the public," wrote Warren in the letter. "Just as there is transparency around your direct efforts to influence policymaking through lobbying, the same transparency should exist for any indirect efforts you make to influence policymaking through financial contributions to think tanks."

Warren noted in the letter that, when corporate resources are used to support think tanks, either those contributions do not affect the work of think tanks or they do affect research and conclusions. 

"Either way, shareholders have a right to know how corporate resources are spent, and, even more importantly, policymakers and the public should be aware of your contributions and evaluate the work of the think tanks accordingly," she wrote.

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