Hedging his bet

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In yesterday's Congress Daily, we saw that Rep. Richard Baker (R-LA) will be resigning from Congress to become president of the Managed Funds Association, a hedge fund trade association:


House. Rep. Richard Baker, R-La., is expected to announce as early as Friday whether he will resign his seat to become president of the Managed Funds Association, according to GOP sources. Baker notified the House clerk last week he was in talks with the group for a nearly $1 million annual salary. In doing so, the ranking member of the House Financial Services Capital Markets Subcommittee became the first lawmaker to comply with requirements for lawmakers to report negotiations for private sector jobs under ethics laws approved last year.


As former chair of the House committee that deals with these issues, it's not surprising he's friendly with the industry. But if you follow the money, you see how friendly Baker and the banking and investments industries have become.


Over his time in Congress, Baker has received over $900,000 from commercial banks and $655,000 from securities and investments firms, according to the Center for Responsive Politics. These include well-known names such as JP Morgan and Chase, Bank of America, Wells Fargo, and Goldman Sachs, among others.


Baker isn't the first member of Congress to bow out of his term early to enter the private sector. It's just one aspect of the money game politicians in Washington - carry industry water during time in Congress and cash out big later.