Fannie, Freddie, and the Financial Crisis: The House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform concludes its investigation into the financial crisis with a hearing on the failures of the mortgage lenders Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. The committee heard from four former CEOs of the two lenders and examined "nearly 400,000 documents." Chairman Henry Waxman (presiding over an Oversight Committee hearing for the last time) says that Fannie and Freddie ignored warnings, making a strategic choice to back riskier mortgages with "irresponsible investments that are now costing federal taxpayers billions of dollars." Waxman dismisses claims that the lenders caused the subprime crisis, though—"They were following the market, not leading it." Former Fannie Mae Chief Credit Officer Edward Pinto goes further: "Fannie and Freddie have subprimed America," he says, with their lending practices leading to "an estimated 8.8 million foreclosures expected over the next four years, accounting for the failure of about 1 in 6 home mortgages."
Video Games By the Numbers: If you think video games are juvenile, think again. A survey by the Pew Internet and American Life Project found that more than half of the adults polled are video-game players, and about one fifth are frequent gamers, playing "every day or almost every day." Young adults play more than seniors, and men are a bit more likely to play than women (55 percent versus 50 percent). Adults still lag behind teens, though. An overwhelming 97 percent of youths in the survey play video games on computers, consoles, or handheld devices. Despite media attention, virtual environments like Second Life and massive multiplayer online games such as World of Warcraft "have yet to catch on." Pew found that only a relative handful of players chose these games.
House Committee Report Blasts FCC Chairman: The House Committee on Energy and Commerce has issued a majority staff report that calls into question actions by Federal Communications Commission Chairman Kevin J. Martin. The report, based on a review of thousands of pages of documents, E-mails and interviews, charges that Martin "manipulated, withheld, or suppressed data, reports, and information," operated in a less-than-open manner, failed to carry out responsibilities, created "distrust, suspicion, and turmoil" and did not efficiently manage staff. The report is titled: "Deception and Distrust: The Federal Communications Commission Under Chairman Kevin J. Martin."
Unmarried Women Less Likely to Have Health Coverage: Unmarried women are less likely to have health insurance coverage, a study by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's National Center for Health Statistics has found. The study found that unmarried women 25 to 64 are about 60 percent more likely than married women to lack health insurance. The study concluded that "private, employer-sponsored coverage remains the most commonly held type of health insurance and married women are more likely to have private coverage than unmarried women in almost all income groups."
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