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OpenMarket: October 2009

  • Court strikes down Ameritrade settlement

    October 24, 2009
    $1.87 million in attorneys' fees for a worthless settlement will not be collected; Judge Vaughn Walker denied settlement approval.
    From the perspective of the class, the worst-case scenario may be realized if following this denial of final settlement approval the case were to fail on dispositive motion. But in that event, class would end up essentially in the same situation it would be if final settlement approval were approved: with nothing. Because the purported benefits to the class do not warrant settlement approval, the court DENIES final approval of the proposed settlement.
  • More Bad Mortgages on the Way, Thanks to Congressional Committee

    October 24, 2009
    Expect to see more bad mortgages as a result of a House committee's vote Thursday to create the so-called "Consumer Financial Protection Agency."  That agency, contrary to its deceptive name, will harm savers and consumers by forcing banks to make loans to people with bad credit, leaving banks with less money to pay interest. “The agency would be in charge of enforcing the Community Reinvestment Act, a law that prods banks to make loans in low-income communities.”
  • Sweden's CO2 Labeling: Deceptive Advertising?

    October 23, 2009
    A quick point to add to Fran Smith's post on Sweden's experiment in labeling food and menus with carbon footprints: don't read too much into the labels.
  • Kerry-Boxer's not-so-hidden fangs

    October 23, 2009
    Next week, the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee will hold three hearings on S. 1733, the Clean Energy Jobs and American Power Act," also known as Kerry-Boxer after its co-sponsors Senators John Kerry (D-MA) and Barbara Boxer (D-CA). Kerry-Boxer is the Senate companion bill to H.R. 2454, the American Clean Energy and Security Act (ACESA), also known as Waxman-Markey after its co-sponsors Reps. Henry Waxman (D-CA) and Ed Markey (D-MA). Part A of Title VII of Kerry-Boxer sets forth the emission reduction targets and timetables of the bill's proposed greenhouse gas emissions cap-and-trade...
  • Hate Crimes Bill Passes, Eroding Civil Liberties and Double Jeopardy Safeguards

    October 23, 2009

    Yesterday, Congress approved a measure to dramatically expand the existing federal hate crimes law, by adding it to an unrelated defense appropriations bill.  The measure would expand current law to cover virtually all hate crimes already covered by state law (both by adding gender, sexual orientation, disability, and transgender characteristics to a law originally designed to protect racial minorities, and by getting rid of the requirement that a hate crime effect federally-protected activities to be prosecuted in federal rather than state court.)

  • The Solution to the Government-Caused Housing Crisis? More Government!

    October 23, 2009
    The mortgage meltdown was caused partly by the government, which created an artificial market for bad mortgages.  The Washington Examiner cites a recent study by Peter Wallison, who had prophetically warned about risky financial practices for years, finding that two-thirds of all bad mortgages were either “bought by government agencies or required to be bought by private companies under government pressure.” Now, the Federal Housing Administration is...
  • Poll shows belief in man-made warming down, but why?

    October 23, 2009
    A new poll shows a sharp decline over the last year in the percentage of Americans who see solid evidence that global temperatures are rising. According to the survey by the highly-reputable Pew Research Center, while 44% of respondents saw global warming as a very serious problem in April 2008, that's down to just 35% now. Of course, all things are relative. With the economy and unemployment such as it is, despite that miraculous stimulus bill, you can see how a problem that's not supposed to truly impact us for a while to come might slide down the pecking order. BUT, the survey also shows that now just 36% of Americans say global temperatures are rising as a result of human activity, down from 47% last year. That's a scientific belief, independent of the economy right? I'd argue otherwise. Wild speculation about man-...
  • LibertyWeek 65: Your TV Violates State Law

    October 23, 2009
    This week we cover Congress’ health care debacle, avoiding another housing crisis, California's proposal to ban big screen TVs, and the FTC's threat to your freedom of speech.
  • People: The Ultimate Resource

    October 23, 2009
    [youtube: 285 234]
  • CEI Weekly: Scholars Support Case Against Sarbanes Oxley

    October 23, 2009
    CEI weekly is a compilation of articles and blogs from CEI's staff. This week features new "amicus briefs" submitted by legal scholars for the Sarbanes Oxley case in the Supreme Court.


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