Research shows that patent examiners are more likely to grant patents to companies they later work for

In their National Bureau of Economic Research working paper From Revolving Doors to Regulatory Capture? Evidence from Patent Examiners (Sci-Hub Mirror), Business School profs Haris Tabakovic (Harvard) and Thomas Wollmann (Chicago) show that patent examiners are more likely to grant patents for companies that they subequently go to work for; they also go easier on patents applied for by companies associated with their alma maters (where they have more connections and will find it easier to get a job after their turn in government service). Read the rest

Everybody hates their cable company, unless the company is Google, or the city, or a tiny mom-and-pop

Consumer Reports' latest telcoms survey finds that people hate their cable company with the fire of a thousand suns, and that they hate them even more than they did the last time they were asked, which is remarkable, because everyone hated them the last time they were asked. Read the rest

EFF has published a detailed guide to regulating Facebook without destroying the internet

If you're a dominant near-monopolist like Facebook, your first preference is to have no regulation at all -- but your close second choice is to have lots of regulation that you can afford, but that potential competitors can't, sparing you the tedious exercise of buying and killing any company that might grow up to compete with you some day. Read the rest

Trump's finance watchdog wants to make the taxpayer-funded database of crooked banks go dark

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau is Elizabeth Warren's gift that keeps on giving -- one of the most effective US government agencies, handing out real punishment to banks that break the law, fighting loan-sharks that prey on poor people, and maintaining a database of vetted consumer complaints against banks that have ripped them off. Read the rest

The Wall Street Journal on the decade since the crash: inequality, giant banks, regulatory failures, looming catastrophe

It's been ten years since the financial crisis, when barely regulated banks destroyed the world's economy, kicked off wars, and directly and indirectly killed millions. Read the rest

Big Telco hates "regulation," but they love their billions in government handouts

When it comes to killing Net Neutrality, Big Telco's major talking point is that "government regulation" has no place in telcoms; but the reality is that the nation's telecommunications providers are the recipients of regulatory gifts that run to $5B/year, and are expected to do very little in return for this corporate welfare. Read the rest

Scenes from today's national gun control student walkout

Today at 10AM local time, students across America walked out of their classes for 17 minutes, in memoriam of the 17 students murdered in the Parkland massacre at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, exactly one month ago. Read the rest

FCC chairman Ajit Pai receives heaps of insults after tweeting about his love for The Big Lebowski

Ajit Pai used his power as FCC Chairman to kill net neutrality. Read the rest

You know who hates Net Neutrality? The NRA.

It's CPAC! The annual far-right hootenanny for preppers, false-flaggers, climate deniers, truthers, and the sort of person who closes their eyes and thinks of The Fountainhead, featuring Marion Maréchal-Le Pen of France, Nigel Farage, Sean Hannity, and mass-murder enthusiast Wayne LaPierre. Read the rest

FCC opens corruption investigation into Ajit Pai, who likes to joke about being a corporate puppet

Trump FCC Chairman Ajit Pai's tenure has been marked by a disregard for the rules under which his agency is legally bound to operate: his Net Neutrality killing order was made without satisfying the evidentiary burden required by law, on the basis of laughable lies (including more than a million fake anti-Neutrality comments from bots pretending to be dead people, nonexsitent people and people who support Net Neutrality) that even his own agency knew to be false, then stonewalling law enforcement attempts to identify the botmasters -- no surprise that Pai's Neutracide is going to be tied up in court for years. Read the rest

Trump's Consumer Finance Protection Board chief gives up on punishing Equifax for doxing the entire United States of America

Mick Mulvaney, the former loan-shark lobbyist who killed plans to regulate payday lenders after being appointed chief of the Consumer Finance Protection Board, has effective abandoned the agency's efforts to punish Equifax for leaking the sensitive personal and financial information of at least 145,500,000 Americans. Read the rest

CDC chief Brenda Fitzgerald quits after outed for buying into a tobacco company

Brenda Fitzgerald was Donald Trump's Director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, charged with reducing smoking among Americans and doing work that directly affected the financial fortunes of tobacco companies when she bought a stake in Japan Tobacco.

Read the rest

Despite the FCC, more than 750 predominantly conservative US communities have built their own publicly owned ISPs

Municipal networks are cheaper and faster than the ones that cable and telephone duopolists build after being given exclusive franchises to serve cities, which is why the FCC had to issue an order banning cities to stop building them -- in the absence of such an order, it seems likely that most of America would end up using municipal internet connections (unlike today, when 100,000,000 Americans are served by a single ISP). Read the rest

Sears Canada execs paid hundreds of millions in dividends before declaring bankruptcy and leaving 16,000 workers' pensions unfunded

Sears Canada has been in serious financial trouble since 2013, when workers wrote to the CEO and regulators and senior politicians to ask that their pensions be safeguarded. They were ignored, as they had been since 2009, when they first started asking for greater scrutiny of the pension fund. Read the rest

Trump's "consumer protection bureau" will let the $50B payday lending industry gouge the poorest Americans with triple-digit interest rates

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, founded by Elizabeth Warren prior to her career as a senator, was once the gem of the US political system, a consistently effective force for punishing finance industry wrongdoing, until Trump let Wall Street robber barons loose on it, under the direction of a lawyer who represented loan sharks before going to work for the Trump administration. Read the rest

Trump's Cabinet of Billionaires operates in unprecedented (and illegal) secrecy

Eight of Trump's 17 cabinet secretaries do not release any information about their travel schedules -- a standard practice under the Obama and GW Bush administrations; 4 others only release incomplete, "sporadic" information; Treasury only started releasing Munichin's schedule in November and six departments illegally withhold details on who their cabinet secretaries meet with (two released some information after being sued). Read the rest

A preview of the lawsuits that will be filed to save Net Neutrality after the FCC voted to kill it today

Today, the FCC ignored tens of millions of Americans' views, as well as comments from the world's leading internet scientists and the inventors of the internet, and give a huge regulatory gift to the telcoms sector it is supposed to be regulating, rolling back Net Neutrality and allowing those companies to extort blackmail money from the web publishers you try to access through their lines. Read the rest

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