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CIA Climate Data, Fannie and Freddie Absent and Health Insurance and Antitrust

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CIA Climate Data, Fannie and Freddie Absent and Health Insurance and Antitrust

The Central Intelligence Agency shares classified satellite data with climate researchers.

Executives from Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac are conspicuously absent from the first hearing of the Financial Crisis Inquiry Commission.

Democratic congressmen are pushing to repeal the McCarran-Ferguson Act, the 64-year-old exemption from federal antitrust laws for health insurers.

Listen to LibertyWeek, the CEI podcast, here.

1. SCIENCE

The Central Intelligence Agency shares classified satellite data with climate researchers.

CEI Expert Available to Comment: Energy Policy Analyst William Yeatman on why scientists should be wary of relying on secret information:

“The rigors of CIA security coexist uneasily with the principles of science. Fundamental to the process of peer review, itself a keystone in the scientific method, is the uninhibited availability of raw data for evaluation by the scientific community. Think of it as a fact check. Research derivative of the CIA, however, is classified... In light of the damage done to the reputation of science by the recent ‘Climategate’ scandals – in which data that should have been made public wasn't and a group of scientists discussed ways to thwart the peer-review process and intimidate peer-reviewed journals, the scientific community should be wary of depending on research where secrecy antithetical to the openness of science appears to be a requirement.” 

 

2. BUSINESS

Executives from Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac are conspicuously absent from the first hearing of the Financial Crisis Inquiry Commission.

CEI Expert Available to Comment: Director of the Center for Investors and Entrepreneurs John Berlau on how government officials are ignoring their own demands for accountability by giving Fannie and Freddie a pass.

“[The Commission], established by Congress to look into the causes of the mortgage meltdown, has the opportunity to explore the mistakes of the policy and business worlds and ensure that those mistakes aren’t made again. Unfortunately, the lineup of the commission’s first hearing today indicates that it will be little more than a partisan sham that skips over politicians’ own role in enabling the crisis through the government-sponsored enterprises Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.”

 

3. HEALTH

Democratic congressmen are pushing to repeal the McCarran-Ferguson Act, the 64-year-old exemption from federal antitrust laws for health insurers.

CEI Experts Available to Comment: Senior Fellow Gregory Conko on why repealing McCarran-Ferguson will jeopardize practices that help small insurers compete.

“But, where critics of McCarran-Ferguson Act see only dominant market power and higher premiums, a closer look reveals a system that permits state governments to encourage and supervise cooperative efforts by the industry that promote competition and keep costs in check.”

 

Listen to LibertyWeek, the CEI podcast, here.