The Kensington Review

14 July 2008


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Latest Commentary: Volume VII, Number 84
US Government Backs Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac -- The Federal National Mortgage Association (nicknamed “Fannie Mae”) and the Federal Home Loan Mortgage Corporation (called “Freddie Mac”) hold about half of the home mortgages in the US. Despite these government agency-sounding names, they are publicly traded on the New York Stock Exchange. Last week, investors got panicked and sold both aggressively. Over the week-end, the US Treasury announced that if either needed to do so, it could call on the Federal Reserve Bank of New York for funds. It’s a pre-emptive bailout.

British Troops to Leave Iraq-Nam Mid-2009 -- The British government has decided to pull out all of its troops from Iraq-Nam, save those training Iraq-Namese and some special forces. The target for this is the middle of 2009. It appears Prime Minister Gordon Brown doesn’t want to embarrass President Bush by getting the lads home before the end of the president’s term. However, as soon as Mr. Bush is back in Crawford, Texas, the plug will get pulled.

Anheuser-Busch Takes InBev’s $52 Billion Offer -- America’s biggest brewer, Anheuser-Busch, is going to be owned by Belgium’s brewer InBev, SA. Having initially rejected the European overtures, the board of Anheuser-Busch yesterday decided to accept a sweetened offer of $52 billion or $70 a share. That’s $5 more per share than stockowners were offered in June. This isn’t over, though.

Cockburn’s Muqtada is Most Important Book of the Year -- Patrick Cockburn of The Independent recently published Muqtada: Muqtada al-Sadr, the Shia Revival, and the Struggle for Iraq. Mr. Cockburn is that newspaper’s Iraq-Nam correspondent, and knows the country as well as any European having spent 30 years on that beat. His study of Muqtada al-Sadr is the most important book of the year, not only for the subject matter, but also for the grace of the prose and the author’s ability to explain seemingly arcane facts about Mesopotamia in language any reasonably intelligent 12-year-old could follow.

© Copyright 2008 by The Kensington Review, Jeff Myhre, PhD, Editor. No part of this publication may be reproduced without written consent. Produced using Fedora Linux.

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