CEI Today: $26 billion foreclosure settlement, STOCK Act muzzling, Solyndra scandal latest and more

Monday, February 13, 2012
In the News Today

CEI Podcast for February 2, 2012: The FDA’s Latest Power Grab

Fellow in Consumer Policy Studies Michelle Minton breaks down the FDA’s behind-the-scenes push to regulate dietary supplements nearly as strictly as prescription drugs. >Listen at Libertyweek.org


Globalwarming.org: House Ratchets Up Probe of White House Involvement in Solyndra Scandal


Fourteen Republican members of the House Energy and Commerce Committee, led by Chairman Fred Upton (R-Mich.) and Oversight and Investigations Subcommittee Chairman Cliff Stearns (R-Fla.) sent a strongly-worded, five-page letter to the White House on 9th February setting a 21st February deadline for turning over documents related to the White House’s involvement in the Solyndra scandal.   The letter also demands that five officials be made available for interviews by 17th February. > Read the full commentary on Globalwarming.org




The STOCK Act’s Muzzle and How to Fix it in Conference


Both the Senate and the House have now passed to STOCK Act aimed at stopping insider trading by lawmakers and staff.  But, as CEI's John Berlau warns, the bill as presented to the conference committee contains dangerous, excessive restrictions on communictaion:

"Both bills must go to “conference” to produce a final identical bill to be voted on by both houses, giving members an opportunity for a fix to help make sure that whistleblowing and routine communication with outside groups from being caught in the law’s web."

> Read the full commentary on Openmarket.org

> Interview John Berlau, Director of CEI's Center for Investors and Entrepreneurs




Openmarket.org: $26 Billion Mortgage Settlement Rips Off Investors to Trim Banks’ Massive Costs of Bailing Out Deadbeat Borrowers


On Friday, the Justice Department and state attorneys general announced a settlement agreement, perhaps the largest federal-state civil settlement in American history, with five banks including Bank of America Corp. and JPMorgan Chase & Co. over foreclosure practices. CEI's Hans Bader explains why investors and others will now get ripped off:

"By ripping off mortgage investors, this deal will make investing in mortgages more risky, which will in turn drive up interest rates that homebuyers have to pay in the future.  This deal only covers borrowers at certain banks, not those borrowers who mortgages are held by the government-sponsored mortgage giants Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, which (
unlike the private banks) have never repaid their bailout, and are currently still being bailed out at an ever-increasing tab of $170 billion.

This deal is not the only way that federal and state officials are messing up the housing market.  The Obama administration is forcing banks to make risky loans (in the name of 'fair lending'), thus planting the seeds of a future financial crisis. The Justice Department is suing banks that refuse to do so, and forcing them both to award preferential loans based on race, and to cough up money in 'settlements,' some of which goes to left-wing 'community' groups. > Read the full commentary on Openmarket.org


> Interview Hans Bader




CPAC Roundup


CEI co-sponsored this year’s Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC), Thursday, February 9 to Saturday, February 11 in Washington, D.C.

CEI speakers addressed a range of provocative topics, from energy regulation to immigration, labor union politics to government regulation of the Internet.  We'll be posting video soon.  Today, video for the immigration debate is now available:

CPAC panel featuring Alex Nowrasteh: Immigration - High Fences, Wide Gates: States vs. the Feds, the Rule of Law & American Identity

Saturday, February 11, 2012

> View the video
> Read more by Alex Nowrasteh

> Interview Alex Nowrasteh


Ten Thousand Commandments

By Wayne Crews

Welcome to The Other National Debt -- The Cost of Regulation

-> Read Today's Decrees


CEI is a non-profit, non-partisan public policy group dedicated to the principles of free enterprise and limited government.  For more information about CEI, please visit our website, cei.org, and blogs, Globalwarming.org and OpenMarket.org.  Follow CEI on Twitter! Twitter.com/ceidotorg.