CEI Daily Update
Issues in the News
A pending bill in Congress would ban the use of genetic testing by insurance companies and employers.
“It is common knowledge that many diseases have a genetic basis and that the presence of more and more disease-related genetic mutations can be detected with simple tests. Unfortunately, much of the American public believes that certain diseases are completely determined by one’s genes and that a positive genetic test means doom. In turn, they fear that insurers will use information of such seemingly great predictive value to deny coverage to, or make insurance much more expensive for, those with positive genetic tests. Some also believe that employers may use genetic test information to discriminate against employees who are at greater risk of becoming ill. This has led to calls for government to regulate access to such information in order to prevent insurance companies and employers from engaging in what some have called ‘genetic discrimination.’”
The Washington Post investigates the often questionable market for “carbon offsets.”
“Simply because some business leaders join with environmental pressure groups to promote a policy does not mean that the policy is good for the economy or the American people. In general, if a company’s stance on an issue appears to be too good to be true, it probably is. Strange alliances such as these—business allying with pressure groups to demand more regulation of those businesses—is actually all too common in history, and the motivation is rarely altruism.”
Poor performance by major mortgage lenders contributes to recent stock market losses.
“A well-placed source at one of the country’s biggest financial firms has told me that his firm has decided not to write any jumbo mortgages at all in the immediate future. (Jumbo mortgages are those over $417,000 — the limit at which Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae will securitize them.) Nobody, he says, is buying the mortgages to securitize them and the firm prefers not to have them on its own books. If this spread, it will make it very hard for anybody to get these mortgages. The spread between their interest rates and conforming mortgages could become enormous.”
Blog feature: For more news and analysis, updated throughout the day, visit CEI’s blog, Open Market.
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