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Intel's Human Rights, Overdraft Fees and Insurance Deregulation

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Intel's Human Rights, Overdraft Fees and Insurance Deregulation

Intel argues that a recent $1.45 billion fine levied by European antitrust regulators amounts to a violation of the firm’s “human rights.”

Banking industry critics attack the practice of charging overdraft fees on debit card purchases.

Massachusetts insurance commissioner Nonnie Burnes resigns her post to take a teaching position at Northeastern University.

Listen to LibertyWeek, the CEI podcast, here

1. LEGAL

Intel argues that a recent $1.45 billion fine levied by European antitrust regulators amounts to a violation of the firm’s “human rights.”

CEI Expert Available to Comment: Senior Attorney Hans Bader and Regulatory Studies Fellow Ryan Young on Intel’s complaint:

“Intel's human rights defense may sound a little unusual, but all it is doing is applying an uncontroversial, widely established principle in a way that people aren't used to. Despite its novelty, the tactic has been tried before in Europe. It's worked, too, though not yet in an antitrust case. Article 34 of the European Convention on Human Rights says, plain as day, that "any person, non-governmental organisation or group of individuals" may seek redress of their grievances (emphasis added). Short of legal gymnastics, courts have to respect that.”

 

2. BUSINESS

Banking industry critics attack the practice of charging overdraft fees on debit card purchases.

CEI Expert Available to Comment: Director of the Center for Investors and Entrepreneurs John Berlau on how smart consumers should react:

“Consumers using debit cards need to keep track of their accounts and treat overdrafts as a type of loan. They should also shop around with banks and credit unions about various options that would better serve them in the use of debit cards. Fees and interest can be lowered by setting up 'linked accounts' that will draw from a consumer’s credit card or line of credit when their checking accounts are overdrawn. In fact, the Center for Responsible Lending survey found that about a third of consumers have such linked accounts.”

 

3. INSURANCE

Massachusetts insurance commissioner Nonnie Burnes resigns her post to take a teaching position at Northeastern University.

CEI Expert Available to Comment: Senior Fellow Eli Lehrer on the good work she did:

“Commissioner Burnes did a great job. A long string of Republican governors and their insurance commissioners gave Massachusetts what was probably the worst, most anti-consumer property and casualty insurance system in the United States. In just about two years, Nonnie Burnes and Gov. Deval Patrick have proven that sensible policies that promote risk-based rates are simply a matter of common sense.”

 

Listen to LibertyWeek, the CEI podcast, here.