The Great Debate

Fannie and Freddie are more complicated than that

By Ralph Nader
February 21, 2014

This article was written in response to “How Ralph Nader learned to love Fannie and Freddie” (February 18) by Bethany McLean.

from Bethany McLean:

How Ralph Nader learned to love Fannie and Freddie

By Bethany McLean
February 18, 2014

Corrects story issued February 18 in third-to-last paragraph regarding efforts to contact Ralph  Nader.

Correcting three myths about the housing market

By Elyse Cherry
December 9, 2013

The U.S. Senate should move quickly to confirm Mel Watt as the new head of the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA), but not for any of the political or procedural reasons usually discussed. A quick confirmation is required because we need new leadership on U.S. housing policy — a policy that on some crucial points is headed in the wrong direction for the wrong reasons.

Helping America’s renters

By David M. Abromowitz
July 29, 2013

We shouldn’t have to sue to get Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac to follow their congressional mandate and put some of the billions they are generating into affordable housing for the millions of families who need it. But that’s what is has come to for housing advocates, who are frustrated that the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) is still refusing to fund the National Housing Trust Fund.

Surprise — we might actually begin meaningful housing reform this year

By Christopher Papagianis
March 20, 2012

Last week, I spotlighted three ominous trends in consumer banking. The last one spotlighted a brewing war “between the private bank sector and the government over who exactly controls the allocation of consumer credit in this country.”

from Stories I’d like to see:

Crash winners, the litigation world series, and Defense budget boondoggles

By Steven Brill
December 27, 2011

1. Crash Winners

Here’s a new entry for the lists of winners and losers that get published this time of year: The ten lawyers, bankers, consultants or accountants who reaped the most from the financial disaster of the last three years.

Everyone’s housing market profits were fictitious

By Maureen Tkacik
October 27, 2011

By Maureen Tkacik
The opinions expressed are her own.

Also read part one of this series, How Ed DeMarco finally cried fraud.

A big clue something had become dysfunctional at Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac came in the first week of 2011, when the government mortgage market makers announced the terms of a settlement agreement they’d reached with Bank of America, and were immediately pilloried for extending the bank another “backdoor bailout” by the likes of Maxine Waters and the American Enterprise Institute.

How Ed DeMarco finally cried fraud

By Maureen Tkacik
October 25, 2011

By Maureen Tkacik
The opinions expressed are her own.

Read part two of this series: Everyone’s housing market profits were fictitious.

Why are we making Uncle Sam a trillion-dollar lender?

By Douglas Holtz-Eakin
July 28, 2011

By Douglas Holtz-Eakin
The opinions expressed are his own.

America is on a path to fiscal disaster.  The skyrocketing national debt will continue to force the Nation to make fundamental decisions about what the government will and will not do, and how to share budget resources across competing programs.  Too bad Congressional budget rules give misleading signals on the best path forward.

from Commentaries:

Securitization survives the fall

September 11, 2009

A year after the government's seizure of Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac and AIG , not to mention the bankruptcy of Lehman Brothers that sent the global financial system into a tailspin, very little has changed to prevent debt from being sliced and diced, again and again.