Last week Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae lost almost half their stock value—a real blow to the two companies that hold almost half all US mortgages. Bankers, federal officials and members of Congress spent a busy weekend on a bailout that could mean billions in taxpayer money. Also, the President got what he wanted from the Democrats who run Congress including Barack Obama, who promised a filibuster but then voted "yes."
FROM THIS EPISODE
In 1990, President George H.W. Bush signed an executive order banning further drilling for oil off-shore. Today, President George W. Bush lifted the ban. Stephen Power reports on energy policy for the Wall Street Journal.
Stephen Power, Energy and Environmental Policy Reporter, Wall Street Journal
Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae are owned by private shareholders. But because they originally were chartered by Congress and get favorable rates, investors believe that both companies are implicitly backed by the federal government. They now own almost fifty percent of all mortgages in the United States, amounting to $5 trillion. Last week, their stocks lost almost half their value.
Last week the Democratic majorities in Congress passed--and the president signed--the FISA bill. The biggest revamping of federal surveillance powers in 30 years allows more wiretapping of people overseas and at home, and provides phone companies with immunity from lawsuits for what they did - at the Bush Administration's request- before the law was passed. Barack Obama voted for it, despite earlier promises that he would filibuster if it contained that provision.
Eric Lichtblau, New York Times (@EricLichtblau)
Jane Harman, Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars (@TheWilsonCenter)
Ed Kilgore, New York magazine / Democratic Strategist (@ed_kilgore)
Glenn Greenwald, Salon.com (@ggreenwald)
Shirley Anne Warshaw, Presidential Scholar, Gettysburg College
More From To the Point
Ronen Bergman on Israel’s targeted assassinations Israeli intelligence agents now admit Palestinian leaders have been officially targeted for assassination--2700 times. Author Ronen Bergman talks about the unusual assassination tactics and how he recently challenged the Prime Minister of Poland over the country’s role in the Holocaust.
Restoring public confidence in our institutions Are President Trump and allies in Congress eroding public trust in democratic government? Even a former Republican governor warns that attacks on Special Counsel Robert Mueller have gone too far. A constitutional scholar and a former FBI agent see real threats to both federal law enforcement and national security.
LATEST BLOG POSTS
3 reasons why your commute between Ventura and Santa Barbara has gotten even worse It’s been over a month since deadly mudslides washed through Montecito and shut down Highway 101 for weeks. But, even though the highway is now clean, open and back to… Read More
Vote: What should we answer next? We’ve looked at the history of the Nike missile base, found out about the empty land near LAX, and answered many of your marijuana questions. Now you get to vote!… Read More