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Government Regulation

BUSINESS
July 15, 2008 | Maura Reynolds and Walter Hamilton, Times Staff Writers
The Federal Reserve clamped down hard on mortgage lenders Monday, issuing rules designed to curb the sorts of risky and deceptive lending practices that helped trigger the subprime mortgage crisis. The Fed's action, although criticized by some for not going far enough, was widely seen as a crucial step in reasserting control over a financial market that had been allowed to run wild. "There's lots more to come," said Thomas Lawler, a former Fed official who is now a housing market consultant.
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OPINION
July 5, 2008
Re "Trading in politics? Don't sell it short," Opinion, June 27 Joel Stein's foray into prediction markets is a smart exploration of the benefits of betting. But there's a reason he found "so few people" in one online marketplace and "lots of action" in another: government regulation. Prediction markets in the United States are subject to nebulous gambling laws and strict financial rules. In fact, the Iowa Electronic Markets is only allowed to operate thanks to a special "no action" letter from the federal government.
BUSINESS
June 28, 2008 | From Bloomberg News
Federal Reserve Chairman Ben S. Bernanke and Securities and Exchange Commission Chairman Christopher Cox were warned by two top senators not to proceed with a plan to take on more oversight of Wall Street until they consult with Congress. "We ask that no action" be taken before legislators can decide whether it's in the economy's "best interests," Christopher J. Dodd (D-Conn.) and Richard C. Shelby (R-Ala.), the Senate Banking Committee's ranking members, said in a letter to Bernanke, Cox and Treasury Secretary Henry M. Paulson Jr. Congress is asserting its authority over how financial markets should be regulated.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
June 25, 2008 | Andrew Blankstein and Ari B. Bloomekatz, Times Staff Writers
Los Angeles County supervisors on Tuesday proposed a radical shift in the way the county monitors children who have been reported neglected or abused, saying "opportunities were missed to intervene earlier" in the recent case of a 5-year-old boy who allegedly endured ritualistic torture at the hands of his mother and two other women.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
June 20, 2008 | Janet Wilson, Times Staff Writer
Dangerous levels of toxic lead were emitted by a Southern California battery recycling facility for months, until regulators ordered the facility to cut production by almost half, officials said. An Exide Technologies facility in Vernon, one of just two such battery recycling facilities west of the Rockies, was emitting lead at levels nearly twice the allowable federal limits from December to April, according to South Coast Air Quality Management District staff.
BUSINESS
June 13, 2008 | From the Associated Press
The chairman of the Federal Communications Commission laid out a plan Thursday to regulate the fees that cellular phone companies charge consumers for canceling their contracts early. FCC Chairman Kevin J. Martin's proposal was similar to an industry plan put forward last month. Martin, speaking at a public hearing, criticized the fees, saying that "in practice, it can leave people locked into a service that they really want to leave."
BUSINESS
June 7, 2008 | From Bloomberg News
General Motors Corp. and 21 other carmakers denied claims by California regulators that they could comply with the state's carbon-reduction rules this year and asked a judge Friday for an order blocking the requirements. GM and two industry groups representing U.S., Asian and European companies said in filings in federal court in Fresno that the state was attempting to enforce carbon-exhaust rules that were barred by the Environmental Protection Agency. Without an injunction, carmakers will have to spend billions of dollars over 18 months, according to the filing.
BUSINESS
May 3, 2008 | From Times Wire Services
A federal appeals court ordered Sprint Nextel Corp. to meet a June 26 deadline to vacate airwaves it uses that are close to public safety agency networks. Sprint, which has been losing customers amid service and network problems, offered instead to leave the channels in question within 60 days after each public-safety organization says it is ready to retune its system. But the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit said the deadline was reasonable, adding that the airwaves were plagued by interference problems stemming from an "incompatible mix" of systems.
BUSINESS
April 1, 2008 | Marla Cone, Times Staff Writer
Contractors renovating U.S. homes built before 1978 must take special precautions to avoid exposing children to lead paint under a regulation announced Monday by the Environmental Protection Agency. Many physicians and scientists have criticized the EPA's long-awaited rule as inadequate to protect children who live in the estimated 38 million homes that contain old lead paint. Every year, about 11 million renovations occur in U.S.
BUSINESS
March 27, 2008 | Andrea Chang, Times Staff Writer
Solar energy is getting a big boost in Southern California with the unveiling of two projects that will be capable of generating a total of 500 megawatts of electricity, enough to serve more than 300,000 homes. Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger and Southern California Edison plan to announce today the country's largest rooftop solar installation project ever proposed by a utility company. And on Wednesday, FPL Energy, the largest operator of solar power in the U.S.
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