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Cap and Trade, Freddie Mac's Losses and Hulu's Success Story

Daily Update

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Cap and Trade, Freddie Mac's Losses and Hulu's Success Story

Democrats push “cap and trade” global warming regulation in the House of Representatives.

Housing giant Freddie Mac reports a $10 billion loss for the first quarter of the year.

Traffic to free video site Hulu.com increases dramatically.

For more news, listen to the LibertyWeek podcast here.

1. CONGRESS 

Democrats push “cap and trade” global warming regulation in the House of Representatives.

CEI Expert Available to Comment: Special Projects Counsel Hans Bader on what this is going to cost American families: 

“Obama’s proposed ‘cap-and-trade’ tax is likely to raise $2 trillion over the next decade. That’s far more than the $646 billion the Administration earlier estimated — amounting to at least $3,100 per family per year. And that figure may be dwarfed by the amount of money siphoned from consumers to well-connected corporations that have learned how to game ‘cap-and-trade’ schemes. In the Great Depression, President Herbert Hoover raised marginal tax rates to 63%, and went on a deficit spending binge. Similarly, Obama has proposed higher marginal tax rates, which will produce another $1.9 trillion in tax increases.” 

 

2. BUSINESS

Housing giant Freddie Mac reports a $10 billion loss for the first quarter of the year.

CEI Expert Available to Comment: Director of the Center for Investors and Entrepreneurs John Berlau on the history of risky decisions at Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae: 

“During the past 15 years, Fannie’s and Freddie’s portfolios were allowed to grow to approximately $6 trillion in mortgages. Fannie and Freddie became ready buyers for mortgages that may not have been issued in the absence of their existence. By the end of 2007, they had guaranteed or invested in $717 billion of subprime or near-subprime Alt-A mortgages, according to the New York Times. But even aside from that, they had lowered the standards for a prime mortgage. A 2004 article in the Fannie Mae publication Housing Matters notes, ‘Lenders now classify some mortgage products that were traditionally B or C as A- because Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac are willing to purchase these mortgages.’” 

 

3. TECHNOLOGY

Traffic to free video site Hulu.com increases dramatically.

CEI Expert Available to Comment: Technology Policy Analyst Cord Blomquist on why the site might want to start worrying about federal regulators

“Hulu’s runaway success over the last year and its growing number of exclusivity agreements mean that it could see some of the added scrutiny that Mr. Obama believes is necessary in the world of media. Of course, there are thousands of arguments as to why an actual antitrust case would lack any real merit—the availability of media in other formats such as broadcast or DVD, the number of non-exclusive deals Hulu has signed, the low barriers to entry and low costs for others to offer similar streaming video services—yet these arguments have failed to impress judges and administrations in the past.” 

 

Listen to LibertyWeek, the CEI podcast, here.