Here we go again….
ANDREW ROSS SORKIN
New York Times Deal Book, 4 July 2011
Wall Street often tries to play down its influence in Washington. As Congress pushed through financial regulations that seemed to get watered down last year, Wall Street’s chief executives tried to suggest, somewhat surprisingly, that their highly paid lobbyists did not have much sway.
If there is still any question about how much power Wall Street actually has in Washington, here is some fresh evidence worth examining.
In a piece of legislation recently passed by the House and the Senate to revamp patent law, a tiny provision was inserted at the last minute called Section 18.
The provision, which my colleague Edward Wyatt detailed in an article ahead of the House’s vote on the bill last month, has only one purpose: to allow the banking industry to skirt paying for certain important patents involving “business methods.”
The provision even allows “retroactive reviews of approved business method patents, allowing the financial services industry to challenge patents that have already been found valid both at the U.S. Patent and Trade Office and in Federal Court,” according to Representative Aaron Schock, an Illinois Republican who tried to strike the provision.
Phi Beta Iota: In the absence of accountability, holistic analytics, and transparency, it is very easy for specific individuals to give up their integrity. The implications of this are breath-taking: Wall Street is showing it can legislate retrospective and ex post facto crime, not just future crime.