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  • Rising Red Tape Erodes Economic Freedom in United States

    Red tape – rules, regulations, restrictions and mandates imposed on America – rose alarmingly in 2009, mirroring the overall decline in economic freedom in the United States, as reported in this year’s Index of Economic Freedom. That’s the conclusion of an upcoming Heritage Foundation report detailing trends in federal regulation. … More

    TARP Inspector General: Same Road, Faster Car

    In an unusually harsh report released yesterday, the government’s Special Inspector General for TARP blasted the bailout program, charging that it has not only failed to meet its goals, but that — absent change — it may have made things worse. Among other things, Inspector General Neil Barofsky concluded that … More

    Obama's Bank Tax: Missing the Target

    In his State of the Union address Wednesday night, President Obama repeated his call for a tax on banks, calling it “a modest fee to pay back the taxpayers who rescued them in their time of need.” That sounds good, everyone agrees the taxpayer’s money should be paid back. But … More

    President Obama and the War on Banks

    Forget the war on terrorism, the war on drugs, even the war on poverty. President Obama seems to have declared a new war, a war on banks. It was launched last week with the proposal of a “bank tax,” supposedly meant to get TARP bailout money back to taxpayers (although … More

    Reuters: "France Welcomes Obama's Bank Regulation Proposals"

    According to a Reuters report, French economy minister Christine Lagarde today applauded President Obama’s call for more regulation of the U.S. financial sector. “I am delighted that [the] president of the United States is following our lead,” she added. In a possibly related story, the Dow Jones yesterday dropped by … More

    Diversity v. Neutrality: Minority Groups Make Case Against Regulation

    Fostering diversity in, and minority access to, channels of communication has long been a key goal of the Federal Communications Commission. In practice, this all too often has been interpreted to mean ownership limits, set-asides, preferences and other mandates imposed by the agency. Usually lost in the heated debates is … More

    Report: Over 1,000 Regulations Void?

    According to a report recently submitted to Congress by the Congressional Research Service over 1,000 regulations written by federal agencies over the past decade may be invalid. The reason: copies of the rules were never given to congressional oversight committees as required by law. As a result, pending enforcement cases … More

    Horseshoes, Hand Grenades, and the FCC: Will the Courts Ground Internet Regulation?

    A funny thing happened to the FCC Friday on its way to regulating the Internet, as a federal appeals court panel questioned the agency’s authority to regulate the web. There’s no final decision yet, but an adverse ruling could stop the agency’s Internet regulation plans in their tracks. And for … More

    Fannie and Freddie: The Sky’s the Limit

    While most of us were at home waiting for Santa and his reindeer to arrive, a gift arrived for mortgage giants Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, as the Obama Administration lifted caps on how much bailout money they can receive from the U.S. Treasury. The old limits for the firms, … More

    Calling Claude Raines: Study Finds Politics in TARP Bailout

    A late end-of-year entry for the 2009 Claude Raines Award goes to a study just released by two economists at the University of Michigan finding that banks with political connections were more likely to get TARP funds than those without them. “Our results show that political connections play an important … More