Freddie Mac Told To Stop Betting Against Struggling Homeowners

Freddie Mac Told To Stop Betting Against Struggling Homeowners

Yesterday, it was reported that bailed-out mortgage titan Freddie Mac had invested billions in mortgage-backed securities that would really only pay off if struggling homeowners were unable to refinance their high-interest mortgages; investments that appear to put Freddie in direct conflict with its goal of making it easier to own a home. Now the federal regulators in control of Freddie Mac say they have already put a halt to these trades. [More]

Freddie Mac Sorta Hoping You Can't Refinance Your Pricey Mortgage

Freddie Mac Sorta Hoping You Can't Refinance Your Pricey Mortgage

Even though the job of bailed-out mortgage backer Freddie Mac is supposed to be about making it easier to own a home, the traders at Freddie have reportedly been buying up investments that put the company at odds with homeowners who want to refinance their pricey mortgages. [More]

Stanford U Investigates A Dozen Docs For Taking Pharma Payola

Stanford U Investigates A Dozen Docs For Taking Pharma Payola

Twelve doctors at Stanford University Medical School are under investigation by the school’s disciplinary board after their names cropped up in a database of docs getting paid big bucks by pharmaceutical companies for speaking gigs, a violation of school policy. [More]

PepsiCo Buys Its Way Onto Science Blog Network As A Food Nutrition Expert

PepsiCo Buys Its Way Onto Science Blog Network As A Food Nutrition Expert

Update #2: On Thursday morning, July 8th, ScienceBlogs contributor PZ Myers posted that the founder and CEO of Seed Media (which owns the blog network) has announced that the PepsiCo sponsored blog has been removed–although as of this update (10:44 am EST July 8th) it’s still online. [More]

Health Insurers Own Tobacco Stocks Worth Nearly $4.5 Billion

Health Insurers Own Tobacco Stocks Worth Nearly $4.5 Billion

Major health insurance companies own nearly $4.5 billion worth of stock in tobacco companies, according to a Harvard University study. It kinda makes sense: health insurers know tobacco sickens people, and so as long as people are smoking, why not profit from the killer? It’s what David Himmelstein, a co-author of the study, calls “the combined taxidermist and veterinarian approach: either way you get your dog back.”

Liggett Cigarette Company Paid For 2006 Lung Cancer Study

Liggett Cigarette Company Paid For 2006 Lung Cancer Study

CT scanning, a promising approach to detecting lung cancer at early, treatable stages, has been dealt a setback with the revelation that the most prominent study so far in support of it was funded almost entirely by a cigarette company—with the funds funneled through a foundation set up by the study’s author, Dr. Claudia Henschke, reports the New York Times. Although the funding revelation doesn’t negate the results of the study, it raises huge conflict of interest flags and reveals how a tobacco company secretly influenced professional opinion by funneling $3.6 million into the foundation over a three year period.

22,000 People Died As Bayer Reaped Profits, Withheld Key Study From FDA

22,000 People Died As Bayer Reaped Profits, Withheld Key Study From FDA

The FDA yanked the heart surgery drug Trasylol off the market last November, but a medical researcher now claims that 22,000 lives could have been saved if Bayer AG hadn’t withheld the results of an earlier internal study proving the drug’s danger. An FDA committee held hearings in September 2006 to determine Trasylol’s safety, but three of the committee members had a financial interest in Bayer, and the drug maker had underwritten the committee chairman’s research.

Consumer Groups Ask FTC Head To Recuse Herself

Consumer Groups Ask FTC Head To Recuse Herself

Two consumer groups have asked Deborah Platt Majoras, the chair of the FTC, to recuse herself from the antitrust review of Google’s purchase of Doubleclick. Majoras is married to a partner at Jones Day law firm, which represents Doubleclick.