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OpenMarket: May 2019

  • Australian Government Tempts Mortgage Crisis

    May 15, 2019
    It seems that Australia’s political parties are suffering from collective amnesia. After spending the earlier half of the year criticizing banks for abrogating their responsible lending obligations—in response to a government investigation into misconduct in the industry—both of the major Australian political parties have decided that they’re going to encourage more of it.
  • Can Trump Save Your Air Conditioner from the Deep State?

    May 14, 2019
    It happens every spring—on the first hot day, homeowners switch on their air conditioners that have sat idle since September, cross their fingers, and pray they get cold air. Those that do not know that they’ll soon be on the hook for a repair costing hundreds of dollars or a replacement costing thousands. But what most don’t know is that bureaucrats in Washington have been targeting home air conditioners for decades and that their regulations are partly responsible for the high cost of cooling off.
  • Trade War State of Play: China, USMCA

    May 14, 2019
    If President Trump’s trade war has a single takeaway, it is this: Raising tariffs is an ineffective bargaining strategy. When the U.S. raises its tariffs, other countries always retaliate, and always become less cooperative.
  • This Week in Ridiculous Regulations   

    May 13, 2019
    Facebook co-founder Chris Hughes called for breaking up the company; CEI’s Iain Murray and Kent Lassman explain why that’s a bad idea. CEI also released the 2019 edition of “​​​​​​​Ten Thousand Commandments.” On Friday, President Trump enacted a new 25 percent tariff on $200 billion of Chinese goods. Meanwhile, rulemaking agencies issued new regulations ranging from tariff applications to habitat descriptions.
  • ‘Forefront of Opportunity and Abundance’—Sec. Pompeo’s Remarks to Arctic Council 

    May 10, 2019
    On May 7th in Finland, U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo participated in the eleventh Ministerial Meeting of the Arctic Council. The meeting “ended without a formal agreement after the United States refused to allow language on climate change to be included” (E&E News, May 7th, 2019). 
  • VIDEO: Report Card on Regulatory Reform

    May 10, 2019
    Earlier this week I had the good fortune to spend some time at the historic Mayflower hotel here in Washington, D.C. attending the Federalist Society’s 7th Annual Executive Branch Review conference. Organizers had assembled an impressive array of government officials and legal experts to present on and debate the state of the nation’s Article II governance.
  • Bloomberg Reporter Justin Bachman Gets Duped by TripAdvisor Front Group

    May 10, 2019
    I wrote back in November 2018 of the false, scurrilous, ad hominem attacks on Competitive Enterprise Institute Adjunct Fellow Fran Smith’s appointment as consumer representative to the Department of Transportation’s Aviation Consumer Protection Advisory Committee (ACPAC). As I noted, Fran previously spent more than a decade as executive director of a national consumer advocacy organization and is more than qualified to serve on ACPAC as the consumer representative.
  • Breaking up and Regulating Facebook: Unfair, Un-American, Unacceptable

    May 9, 2019
    Facebook co-founder Chris Hughes, former publisher of The New Republic, argues in a long essay for The New York Times that the company should be broken up and regulated, and indeed that this would be the “American” thing to do.
  • Hearing Discusses Boosting Union Coercive Powers

    May 9, 2019
    Democrats in Congress are pushing the Protecting the Right to Organize (PRO) Act H.R. 2474, which seeks to strip workers of long-held protections and bolster the coercive power of labor unions. On May 8th, the House Subcommittee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions held a hearing to discuss this union wish list bill.
  • Pop Federal Trade Commission's Dangerous Facebook Trial Balloon

    May 9, 2019
    Facebook is reportedly negotiating a settlement with a powerful regulatory agency that would impose a new corporate structure, increase liability for one or more executives, and take aim at the company financially. Important protections for civil and economic rights are in jeopardy. The precedent could be catastrophic for the next person confronting a regulatory agency without the personal resources of Mark Zuckerberg.

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