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Toxic Assets, NIMBYs and Fish Pedicures

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Toxic Assets, NIMBYs and Fish Pedicures

Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner unveils a plan to sell off “toxic assets” as part of the federal bank bailout.

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce launches a website detailing energy and infrastructure projects that have been delayed and derailed by “green tape.”

The exotic trend of live-fish pedicures faces opposition from established beauty salon owners.

For more top stories listen to the LibertyWeek podcast.

1. BUSINESS 

Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner unveils a plan to sell off “toxic assets” as part of the federal bank bailout.

CEI Expert Available to Comment: Director of the Center for Investors and Entrepreneurs John Berlau on how the plan will increase taxpayer liabilities and worsen conditions in the credit market: 

“Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner's $1 trillion Public-Private Investment Program, [announced yesterday], will likely explode already surging taxpayer liabilities while doing little about -- and possibly even worsening -- the tightening of credit and valuation of toxic assets. As increasing numbers of Republicans and Democrats have recognized, no matter how much the government spends on bailouts, mark-to-market accounting rules continue to spread the credit contagion and are a major obstacle to true price discovery of assets like mortgage-backed securities. But, unfortunately, like the Bush administration, Geithner and the Obama team have so far balked at doing anything substantial to provide relief from mark-to-market accounting mandates.” 

 

2. ENVIRONMENT

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce launches a website detailing energy and infrastructure projects that have been delayed and derailed by “green tape.”

CEI Expert Available to Comment: Senior Fellow Marlo Lewis reports on why fans of renewable energy should be as worried as anyone

“With case studies from more than 30 states, Project No Project  chronicles how NIMBY (‘not in my backyard’) activists ‘block energy projects by organizing local opposition, changing zoning laws, opposing permits, filing lawsuits, and bleeding projects dry of their financing.’ Many of the projects blocked are not coal plants but alternative energy projects or infrastructure often touted as ‘green.’ The site invites readers to provide examples from their own locales of NIMBY efforts to block or stall energy-related projects. Proponents of ‘green jobs’ should be concerned as much as free-market and property-rights advocates, because ‘stimulus’ projects are vulnerable to the same NIMBY tactics that, for example, have immobilized the Cape Wind Project in Nantucket, Massachusetts.” 

 

3. HEALTH

The exotic trend of live-fish pedicures faces opposition from established beauty salon owners.

CEI Expert Available to Comment: Senior Fellow Gregory Conko on the legal travails of John Ho and his skin-nibbling fish: 

“…the introduction of fish pedicures in the United States was almost stillborn after Vietnamese immigrant John Ho imported the technique and thousands of fish from China. Ho, who is believed to be the first to use the technique in the U.S., was almost thwarted by the Fairfax County Virginia Health Department, which decided that a communal tub shared by the feet of several customers at once was a ‘public swimming pool’ and that the fish made it unsanitary. A switch to individual tubs was enough to make it lawful in Virginia. And, in other good news, Ohio has made an affirmative decision that the process is OK. In a fit of rationality that often seems unusual for state public health officials, the Ohio Board of Cosmetology decided the practice was sanitary enough.”

 

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