Now that the window dressing called financial reform has passed, the lobbyists are marching on regulatory agencies (what a surprise):
Nearly 150 lobbyists registered since last year used to work in the executive branch at financial agencies, from lawyers for the Securities and Exchange Commission to Federal Reserve bankers, according to data analyzed for The New York Times by the Center for Responsive Politics, a nonpartisan research group. In addition, dozens of ex-government lawyers, who are not registered as lobbyists, are now scouring the financial regulations on behalf of corporate clients.
This is your classic stage two for corporations to destroy any prayer's chance of legislation in the national interest. First they move laws they wish to destroy into regulations and studies. Next up is to decimate the interpretation and implementation of those regulations and of course generate counter "studies", otherwise known as lobbyist white paper spin.
Lobbying and law firms here have always turned to former regulators to navigate the bureaucracies of Washington. But the financial regulations passed by Congress and signed into law by President Obama has left most of the real decision-making to the S.E.C. and other agencies, making these agencies more powerful than ever. On a scale that analysts say they have never seen, government regulatory agencies will spend the coming years enacting rules on everything from the definition of a “systemically important” mega-bank to limits on debit card fees.
Federal agencies will decide the details of at least 243 financial rules and conduct 67 studies, according to an assessment by the law firm of Polk Davis. The S.E.C. alone is responsible for developing 95 rules on topics like the trading of derivatives, standards for credit rating agencies and disclosure of executive bonuses. The Commodity Futures Trading Commission must develop 61 rules, the Federal Reserve has 54, and two brand new agencies just created by Congress — the new Consumer Financial Protection Bureau and the Financial Stability Oversight Council — have 80 rules between them.
Read the entire article and then weep, at the New York Times.