Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac formally are known as Government-Sponsored Enterprises, or GSEs. These days the "S" might stand for "stolen." A group of their shareholders are arguing as much in federal court in Perry Capital v. Lew. The U.S. Treasury Department, claim the plaintiffs, overstepped its authority by impounding profits in perpetuity through its "sweep" rule of 2012. On Wednesday, February 5, the group, Shareholder Respect, held a conference in Washington, D.C. to highlight its view that the rule violates the terms of the temporary conservatorship under which Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac have been forced to operate since 2008.
One doesn’t usually associate the cause of worker freedom with organizations headed by Ralph Nader.But then, unions have a long track record of avoiding transparency.And promoting transparency is Nader’s specialty.On March 29, the Washington, D.C.-based nonprofit group, Public Citizen, filed suit in U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia on behalf of dissenting members of the International Union of Operating Engineers.The complaint alleges that the union, through a new rule, is infringing upon its members’ right to communicate with each other via the Web.The hidden purpose, argues Public Citizen, is to suppress debate over union elections.