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Losses at Fannie Mae, Satellite TV Merger and Toxic Chemicals

Daily Update

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Losses at Fannie Mae, Satellite TV Merger and Toxic Chemicals

Mortgage giant Fannie Mae reports a loss of $2.3 billion.

Cable TV provider Dish Network proposes a merger with DirecTV.

Former New York Times environmental reporter Phil Shabecoff authors a book on toxic chemicals affecting children’s health.

1. BUSINESS

Mortgage giant Fannie Mae reports a loss of $2.3 billion.

CEI Expert Available to Comment: Center for Entrepreneurship Director John Berlau on government privileges taken advantage of by Fannie Mae:

“Congress just got through with passing a multi-billion dollar bailout to the government-sponsored housing enterprises Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, which own half of America’s mortgage debt. Fannie was created as a government agency in 1937 as part of the New Deal, and despite it and Freddie’s restructuring some 40 years ago, it still maintained government privileges and other implicit subsidies (which have now been made explicit.) Yet amazingly, despite these two government-created behemoths at the center of the housing storm, many are gaining traction arguing that the housing mess somehow shows the failure of the ‘free market.’”

 

2. TECHNOLOGY

Cable TV provider Dish Network proposes a merger with DirecTV.

CEI Expert Available to Comment: Research Associate Ryan Radia on the back story to the merger:

“Dish Network and DirecTV, the two largest satellite television providers in the U.S., tried to merge back in 2001. Antitrust officials ultimately blocked that merger, concluding that it would hurt competition in television programming. Naturally, a renewed merger attempt would likely encounter similar obstacles, according to industry observers. This time around, though, the deal may have a better shot of surviving regulatory scrutiny, buoyed by the approval of the XM-Sirius merger. Compared to 2001, competition among video providers is thriving, and there are more alternatives to satellite television than ever before.”

 

3. SCIENCE

Former New York Times environmental reporter Phil Shabecoff authors a book on toxic chemicals affecting children’s health.

CEI Expert Available to Comment: Adjunct Fellow Steven Milloy on why Shabecoff's book is junk science:

“[Author Phil] Shabecoff asserts that industrial chemicals are barely regulated, companies ‘have knowingly put and kept toxic products on the market,’ children are more vulnerable to chemicals, ‘no one is safe,’ the health care costs attributable to chemicals exceed $100 billion annually, and that the solution is to go ‘chemical free.’ If Shabecoff’s book were turned into a movie, however, it would have to be titled, ‘The Night of the Living Dead — Chemical Boogeyman Edition.’ Scares about all these substances have been debunked over and over during the last few decades.”