Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac Take on the Free Market

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Michael Hoffman | United States

The privatization of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac seems to be on the U.S. Treasury and Trump administration’s agenda, and with everyone predicting that a recession is on the horizon, it’s starting to feel like 2008 again.

From the Austrian perspective, allowing the Federal National Mortgage Association and the Federal Home Loan Mortgage Corporation to revert back to quasi-market-based institutions is optimal because it will open up competition and more realistic price discovery in terms of home financing and real estate prices (though not as much as we’d like to see).

With over 50 proposals to overhaul the real estate market, including a “smaller” role in the housing market for the Federal Housing Administration (FHA), the plan seeks to aid those who want to see housing become more affordable. Sounds good right? Not so fast. As the proverbial saying goes, be sure to read the fine print, since no one will be more affected by these potential political and economic changes than prospective American homeowners.

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How Will America’s Chinese Tech Ban Affect 5G?

Guest Post

There is no doubt that the global geopolitical climate has changed significantly since 2016, thanks largely to the election of Donald Trump as the President of the U.S. One of the key manifestations of this is Trump’s uniquely protectionist approach, which has led to an ongoing trade war with China and other nations across the globe. Last year, the U.S. imposed three rounds of tariffs on more than $250 billion worth of Chinese goods, whilst the Asian nation’s government responded in kind by imposing similar tariffs ranging from 5% to 25% on $110 worth of American products.

We’ve also seen a high-profile row surrounding the rollout of 5G technology that has originated in China, and this shows no sign of ending anytime soon. But how will the U.S. ban on these Chinese tech companies affect the development and rollout of this technology?

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How Can Social Pressure Influence Mainstream Media?

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Social change has always been a factor when it comes to the progression of media. Take Disney films from the early 20th century, for example, which reflected the dated racial outlooks of the time. Since then, they have removed many of these depictions from their cartoons entirely. The acceptance that these depictions of people of color were unacceptable is a clear positive change to mainstream media.

However, as time has progressed, people have become more and more expressive of what should be socially acceptable. Sometimes, the line becomes blurred, and people may get outraged over seemingly unimportant matters, having a damaging effect and imposing on the media. Artists often release their respective forms of media as a type of escapism. Although artists are also guilty of this, art should be separate from politics.

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MLB Announces an Esports League in China

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For several months, there was a rumor that Major League Baseball (MLB) had planned to make its first moves into the esports market with the launch of an MLB-branded esports league. The move was to follow a similar path to fellow major sports league set by the NBA, which has operated its esports league, NBA 2K League, for two years already. 

The speculation was only half right, though. MLB did indeed announce the launch of its first esports league in early July 2019, but it threw a major curveball when it declared that this league would be based, not in the United States, but China. At first glance, this may seem like a bit of an odd move as China does not have a significant baseball fan base, but one could argue that it gives MLB the best of both worlds.

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