Are Fannie and Freddie Screwed? Bush Hopes So.

Greetings, Morphizm pals. Welcome to the new blog. It’s in the early stages, but should be sitting pretty by the end of the month. Speaking of the end, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. President Bush. America’s public debt doubled. Sound familiar? It will. I spiel further on the takedown for AlterNet:

AlterNet: Are Fannie and Freddie Screwed? Bush Hopes So.
[Scott Thill, AlterNet]
In January, I wrote a cultural analysis of the Federal National Mortgage Association and the Federal Home Loan Mortgage Corporation, more casually known as Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, and how the Bush administration might be trying to take them down. Ex-CEO Franklin Delano Raines was in court and accusing Bush of what the Washington Post described as “a coordinated plan within the Bush administration to depress Fannie Mae’s stock price,” which would have gotten more play in the press were it not for the fact that Raines was accused by Fannie Mae’s overseer, the Office of Federal Housing Enterprise Oversight (OFHEO), of skimming millions off the top for himself. The soap opera thickened under the weight of the fact that OFHEO director James B. Lockhart was not only a Bush contributor but a loyalist who went to school with him at Yale. And while the two parties, and their political parties, waged war with each other over control of two government-sponsored entities, the housing meltdown caught serious fire.

It has since cratered.

But my piece fell on deaf ears, except for those belonging to motivated professional and armchair economists who love to explore the nether regions of history, finance and hyperreality. Because hyperreality is exactly what the rampant securitization of the debt and housing markets has wrought since George W. Bush took office and, paraphrasing popular stock blowhard Jim Cramer, set about destroying the decades-old lender for good, plunging yet another knife into the back of not Franklin Delano Raines, but Franklin Delano Roosevelt, and his New Deal.

So here we are, months later, and the shit has hit the fan. The world, it seems, has awoken to the fact that Fannie and Freddie own trillions in worthless debt, which will need to be owned, which is to say bought, by the government rather than the shareholders who ditched them… MORE @ ALTERNET

Photo: NY Times

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