Recent emails, released to the public Friday, have revealed the close bond between Koch lobbyists and regulators at the U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission.

The commission was created in 1974 to stop manipulation and abusive practices in derivatives and commodity trading, one of the key components of the 2008 financial meltdown. The emails revealed by The Intercept show the Koch Industries Inc. lobbyists pressuring regulators to review ways to change regulatory policy. The correspondence also gives a glimpse of the friendship between the lobbyists and regulators, with both sides expressing pleasure in getting together.

This news comes on the heels of the House of Representatives passing a major law Tuesday that allows the Koch brothers, along with other Wall Street firms, to avoid regulatory scrutiny for risky trades. Lee Fang from The Intercept reports:

Just as Citigroup lobbyists authored their own deregulation bills in Congress, the Koch emails reveal just how comfortable the regulators and the lobbyists who curry their favor feel with each other, even as the latter are besieging the former with information and pressure that benefits their very rich clients.

Gregory Zerzan, a former Treasury Department official during the George W. Bush administration, went on to work for the International Swaps and Derivatives Association before becoming a Koch lobbyist.

The emails show Zerzan regularly communicating with CFTC officials, encouraging them to review letters from a Koch-backed coalition requesting changes in regulatory policy, and asking commissioners out for a visit to the Koch Industries’ commodity trading office in Houston.

Koch Industries has lobbied on a number of rules promulgated by the CFTC via the Dodd-Frank financial reform law passed in 2010. The so-called position limits rules — designed to reduce excessive speculation in commodity markets — have been one Koch target.

— Posted by Donald Kaufman.

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