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  • Comcast-NBC: Why is the FCC Involved?

    Bidding has begun on Comcast’s acquisition of a majority stake in NBC Universal. No, not the bidding between GE and Comcast over the terms of the sale. That was the comparatively easy part. The real bidding is over at the FCC, as various interests work to get concessions and pledges … More

    Barney Frank's Plan: A Permanent TARP?

    The House Financial Services Committee yesterday OK’d a key part of Barney Frank’s agenda for reform of the financial industry yesterday, voting to 31-27 to adopt his plan for so-called “too-big-to-fail” banks. The measure has been widely touted as providing a way to avoid future budget-busting bailouts of the industry. … More

    TARP: It Couldn't End Thune Enough

    In an era when legislation routinely exceeds 1,000 pages, the bill introduced by Sen. John Thune yesterday — at seven lines — doesn’t look like much. But looks can be deceptive. If adopted, those seven lines would guarantee the end of the Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP), a critical first … More

    AIG: Did Geithner Give Away the Farm?

    It’s official: U.S. taxpayers did not get a good deal when they bailed out AIG last year. That was the conclusion of a report released yesterday by Neil Barofsky, the federal government’s special inspector general for TARP. The conclusion is no surprise: no one holds up the $170 billion bailout … More

    Who's Watching Fannie and Freddie? Oversight Agency Fires Its IG

    Don’t look now, but there’s no independent Inspector General at the Federal Housing Finance Agency — which is responsible for overseeing federally-run finance giants Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. As reported in the Huffington Post of all places, the former Inspector General, Ed Kelley was relieved of his duties in … More

    Exit Strategy or Entrance Strategy? New TARP Program On the Way

    One year and a week after Congress enacted legislation creating the $700 billion “Troubled Asset Relief Program,” the Treasury Department next week is expected to launch its first initiative to buy, well, troubled assets. Odd as it may be, in the year since its creation TARP has been used for … More

    FTC to Regulate Blogger Claims (I Was Not Paid to Say This)

    Should the federal government regulate what blogger’s blog? Yes, said the Federal Trade Commission yesterday — at least when it comes to product endorsements. At issue were the FTC’s guidelines concerning the use of endorsements in advertising. These guidelines, among other things, require paid endorsers of products to disclose their … More

    The Chicken Littles of Broadband

    Is the Internet in clear and present danger? Yes, say proponents of neutrality regulation of the Internet. In a speech last month calling for FCC neutrality regulation, Chairman Julius Genachowski stopped short of quoting Oliver Wendell Holmes, but did all he could to paint a dire picture of the Internet’s … More

    Feds Target Yard Sales

    Thinking of having a fall yard sale to clean out some of the clutter from your house? Be careful, or it could get you in trouble with the Feds, and cost you up to $15 million in fines. Its no joke: the Consumer Product Safety Commission has launched a new … More

    Will (and Can) the FCC Regulate the Internet?

    Declaring access to the Internet to be like “running water or the light bulb,” FCC chairman Julius Genachowski declared today that it should be regulated. Specifically, he announced that the Commission will be voting next month on a proposal to impose so-called “net neutrality” regulation on Internet service providers such … More