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OpenMarket: Subsidies and Bailouts

  • Treasury Nominee Mnuchin Promising on Volcker Rule and Fannie and Freddie

    December 1, 2016

    Steven Mnuchin would bring to the Treasury Department valuable experience managing entrepreneurial ventures and company turnarounds. He has expressed some encouraging sentiments on housing policy and the regulatory burden on Main Street. CEI looks forward to a comprehensive confirmation hearing at which Mnuchin can share his...
  • Obamacare Policies Are Costly and Unpopular

    November 8, 2016

    Obamacare policies are unpopular, and people often dump them months later. That’s John Graham’s conclusion at the National Center for Policy Analysis’s Health Policy Blog. Taxpayers pay billions of dollars a year subsidizing policies on Obamacare’s health insurance exchanges, including an estimated $75 billion in subsidies for 2017. Yet the Obamacare exchanges are providing little lasting coverage:

    There is a significant discrepancy between the four million Obamacare beneficiaries estimated by the NHIS and estimates produced by the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services and the Congressional Budget Office, which estimate about 11 million...

  • Obamacare Increases Premiums, Reduces Employment

    October 28, 2016

    Health care insurance premiums will increase significantly next year as a result of the Affordable Care Act, and many consumers will be left with access to only a single insurance provider, according to administration officials. Arizona will see the biggest spike in prices (a whopping 116 percent), while Oklahoma will see a spike of 69 percent and Tennessee, Minnesota, and Alabama will see spikes of around 60 percent. The national average will be about 25 percent, the administration says.

    Columnist Mary Katharine Ham wrote recently about how “My Defective Obamacare Health Insurance Product Just Blew Up.” Last year, her insurance plan’s cost went...

  • Elon Musk Angry at Having to Compete for Taxpayer Handouts

    August 8, 2016

    Rent seeking” occurs when companies secure government benefits for actions that do not otherwise create wealth.

    An example of rent seeking is California’s subsidy program for zero emissions vehicles (ZEVs)—primarily electric vehicles. Under the state’s ZEV credit program, automakers that...

  • Export-Import Bank Drama Continues

    June 13, 2016

    The Senate’s main business right now is the annual Defense Appropriations bill. The Export-Import Bank, or Ex-Im for short, might become part of that bill. Ex-Im caused one of the most contentious political fights in recent years. While the fight seemed over when Ex-Im re-opened last December after a five-month shutdown, there is still one more bit of drama to be resolved. That might happen this week.

    Ex-Im is currently unable to make...

  • House Plan to Replace Dodd-Frank Provides Long-Needed Alternative

    June 10, 2016

    On Wednesday, House Financial Services Committee Chairman Jeb Hensarling announced the main features of his comprehensive plan to replace Dodd-Frank, the flawed response to the financial crisis. Overall, the plan, called the Financial CHOICE Act, contains many features CEI has long advocated, together with some new approaches that look promising. There are one or two concerns from CEI’s free market perspective, but overall the plan provides the comprehensive alternative that provides the basis for debate as the initiative moves forward.

    The plan comprises seven sections that would serve as titles for a bill. It is worth looking at each in turn.

    Section One deals with capital controls on banks, which have tightened as a result of Dodd-Frank...

  • Omnibus: No Financial Reg Relief, Dangerous GSE Provision, But a Little CFPB Sunshine

    December 16, 2015

    My Competitive Enterprise Institute colleagues and I have made the case for members of Congress to use the omnibus spending bill as an exercise of its “power of the purse” to hold the Obama administration accountable. Unfortunately, negotiators in Congressional leadership opened that purse way too soon and way too wide to give President Obama nearly everything in terms of the spending he wanted while inexplicably leaving out regulatory relief measures that members of both parties were clamoring for in the thousand-plus page omnibus bill (read it here) to be voted on later this week.

    While there were a couple good measures like lifting the oil export ban and repealing the expensive and...

  • Freddie Mac's Loss Shows Need to Protect Taxpayers from GSE Raids

    November 4, 2015

    I wish baseball great Yogi Berra were still here—upon the release of Freddie Mac’s new quarterly report showing a sudden Q3 loss—so he could offer his famous Yogism “it’s déjà vu all over again.” After seemingly smooth sailing under which Freddie and its sister Fannie Mae turned profits over the last couple years, this net loss of $475 million raises the specter of yet another government bailout.

    Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, the two government-sponsored enterprises (GSEs) that many observers—from American Enterprise Institute scholar Peter Wallison to New York Times business...

  • CEI's Coalition Letter to Prevent New Bailouts of Fannie and Freddie

    August 28, 2015

    As the Dodd-Frank “financial reform” celebrated its fifth anniversary this summer, just about every financial business—as well as many nonfinancial firms—have come under its thumb. This is true whether or not these companies had anything to do with the financial crisis.

    Community banks and credit unions that had nothing to do with the subprime mortgage meltdown suddenly found that they couldn’t issue mortgages to creditworthy borrowers, thanks to provisions such as “qualified mortgage” and “qualified residential mortgage” mandates enforced by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, the unaccountable new agency created by Dodd-Frank. Stable insurance companies such as MetLife that never faltered during the crisis and served policy holders for decades suddenly found themselves...

  • Federal Financial Aid Drives Up Tuition and College Costs, Study Finds

    July 9, 2015

    The federal government is now admitting that its own financial aid is partly to blame for rising tuitionreports Blake Neff in The Daily Caller:

    A ...

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