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Fannie and Freddie's Role In The Financial Crisis; U.S. Car Sales Up; Sen. Rand Paul Returns Funds: Today on Here and Now

Here are some highlights from today's show.1:06pm:  The official Financial Crisis inquiry Commission said that the financial crisis was caused by lax regulation, Wall Street greed, and excessive risk taking by investors.  One member of the commission, Peter Wallison of the American Enterprise Institute sees it differently -- Wallison blames government housing policy for the crisis and says the mortgage lending giants Freddie Mac and Fannie May were responsible for implementing that policy.1:21pm:  Last month Chrysler posted a 37% increase in sales of cars and light trucks, Ford saw a 10% gain and General Motors reported a 4.6% rise. All told for the full year, Chrysler's sales went up 26%, Ford's 11% and GM's 13%.  But was it just because Japanese car makers have struggled to get back to full production after last year's earthquake and flooding in Thailand?  Both Toyota and Honda had one of their worst years in decades, they saw sales drop last year.  And at this week's North American International Auto Show in Detroit, American car makers are unveiling cars of the future that they hope will keep customers buying American.1:34pm:  Sen. Rand Paul says he’s fulfilling a campaign promise by giving back $500,000 dollars of operational funds. U.S. Senators are appropriated $3 million dollars a year for their office budgets by the U.S. Treasury. Paul says he’s been able to save nearly 15 percent of his annual costs and says his should be an exemplary model for other politicians. Paul says if Congress invested in management and offered incentives for lawmakers and staff to cut budgets the U.S. could save $130 million annually.  WFPL's Devin Katayama will have more. 

Brad Yost is a senior producer for LPM. Email Brad at byost@lpm.org.

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