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The Competitive Enterprise Institute Daily Update

Daily Update

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The Competitive Enterprise Institute Daily Update

Issues in the News

 

1. HEALTH                 

Thousands of lawsuits against Merck & Co. swamp courthouses to meet the deadline for legal claims relating to the painkiller Vioxx.

CEI Expert Available to Comment: Senior Fellow Gregory Conko on the issues behind the Vioxx suits:        

“Frederick Humeston knew the odds were stacked against him in Atlantic City’s casinos, but his lawyer thought the odds were in his favor in one Atlantic City courtroom. Humeston was suing makers of the anti-inflammatory drug Vioxx, and despite weaknesses in his case, he stood to make millions. His gamble proved wrong. That may be bad news for him, but it's good news for the rest of us.”

 

2. ENERGY

Oil prices continue to decline, now to below $61 a barrel.

CEI Expert Available to Comment: Senior Fellow Iain Murray on the wider implications of oil price fluctuations:

“Perhaps the most influential commentator to address the issue was Thomas Friedman. In an essay in Foreign Policy magazine he drew attention to a strong correlation between the price of oil and the level of freedom worldwide, as measured by various indices of freedom. He suggested that the dynamic worked so that tyrannical regimes were fed by high oil prices and that the only way to increase freedom worldwide would be to shift away from an oil-based economy.”

 

3. TECHNOLOGY

Computer security firms protest Microsoft’s refusal to share development details of its new operating system.

CEI Expert Available to Comment: Vice President for Policy Wayne Crews on the market for addressing cybersecurity concerns:

“Private solutions are the only real hope we have for decreasing cybersecurity threats, given that previous government efforts to regulate the Internet—for example, outlawing spam in 2004—have not lived up to expectations. Political anonymity and commercial anonymity are not the same thing, and the distinction requires better appreciation. Over the coming tumultuous period of dealing with online threats, policymakers should allow the experimentation necessary to cope with today's lack of online authentication to proceed with minimal interference.”

 

Blog feature: For more news and analysis, updated throughout the day, visit CEI Open Market.

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To contact a CEI expert for comment or interviews, please call the CEI communications department at 202-331-2273 or email to pr@cei.org.