Obama Administration: Mobile Phone ‘Unlocking’ Should Be Legal
The Obama administration will push to reverse a new prohibition on mobile phone unlocking, after an online White House petition protesting the ban drew more than 100,000 signatures. The ban makes it a federal crime for consumers to “unlock” newly purchased mobile phones in order to use a different wireless network without their current carrier’s permission. Despite the Obama administration’s opposition, however, Congress will most likely need to change federal copyright law for the ban to be reversed. Public interest groups have opposed the unlocking ban because it frequently means that consumers have to buy new phones if they want to switch networks after their contracts have expired. Unlocking also allows consumers to resell their phones for use on another carrier after their contracts are over, and to use second-hand phones on the carrier of their choice, which may not be the network on which the device was originally activated. These actions are now illegal without the permission ...
What (If Anything) Can Fix the SEC?
When President Obama nominated former U.S. Attorney Mary Jo White to be the next Chairman of the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), the reaction was generally positive. White will be the first prosecutor to head the nation’s top financial regulator, and many critics of Big Finance are seeing the pick as a clear indication that the President wants to get tough on Wall Street shenanigans. For instance, Dennis Kelleher, president of the nonprofit organization Better Markets, which lobbies for financial regulatory reform, said in a statement: “Mary Jo White was a tough, smart, no nonsense, broadly experienced and highly accomplished prosecutor. She knew who the bad guys were, went after them and put them in prison when they broke the law. That’s what must happen if integrity and investor confidence is to be restored in our securities markets. Wall Street is a high crime area and Mary Jo White brings the right skill set to restore the rule of law on Wall Street.” Kelleher ...
Obama calls on congress to act on jobs bill
Today at a White house press conference, Obama warned the American public of the banking crisis in Europe and the stalled congressional action on jobs legislation.
Obama's tax returns: Income drops
President Obama and the first family saw their income drop slightly in 2012, according to tax returns released by the White House on Friday.
Big Brother: How the Obama Budget Helps Ordinary Savers (at Some Risk)
The newly released White House budget addresses the savings needs of ordinary Americans in a big-brother kind of way. But it does little to address our nation’s overall financial illiteracy. In 244 pages, the Obama budget makes not a single mention of “financial education” or “financial literacy.” The budget does offer measures to beef up math education and help students finish college, both of which are linked to smarter personal money management. Still, when it comes to things like mortgages and retirement saving, this president favors the hand of big brother over initiatives that would help people help themselves. To be fair, the president has embraced financial education at a certain level. We have a formal national strategy for financial literacy and a couple high-level commissions coordinating private and public sector financial education efforts. These groups have done a great job developing helpful consumer websites like moneyasyougrow.org and mymoney.gov. But this work ...