2010 July Finance, Insurance, and Real Estate News (full-text pdf)

Published July 1, 2010

The July issue of Finance, Insurance, and Real Estate News reports on the Senate’s vote to approve Illinois Sen. Dick Durbin’s amendment to the financial regulatory reform bill, a measure limiting interchange fees–also called “swipe fees”–on debit card purchases.

Also in this issue:

  • The health care overhaul law declares the term “person” to include any corporation that is not tax-exempt under code section 501(a), vastly expanding the tax reporting and record-keeping burden on businesses and individuals–and the ability of the government to track our financial transactions.
  • The Texas Sunset Advisory Commission has recommended the Texas Department of Insurance clarify and liberalize its property and casualty insurance ratemaking oversight.
  • The U.S. House Financial Services Committee has passed the Homeowners’ Defense Act, which critics have dubbed a “beach house bailout.” The bill would create a National Catastrophe Risk Consortium, a quasi-governmental agency that would allow states to pool catastrophic risk, keeping property insurance rates artificially low in coastal areas at risk of hurricanes and other natural disasters.
  • It’s Not as Bad as You Think, a book by Heartland Institute Senior Fellow Brian Wesbury, explains why the market should be able to overcome whatever damage the federal government has been inflicting on the economy.
  • Most states continue to face dire real estate problems, but Texas has a healthy market thanks to tax relief, restrictions on risky loans, efforts to overturn problematic federal appraisal standards, and eminent domain limits.