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Isn’t It Time To Fix (or kill) Fannie and Freddie?

Fannie and Freddie Bailout Continues - Image credit Main St Financial

Nearly seven years since the meltdown of 2008, we are still nowhere near getting private capital back into mortgages. The lavish executive salaries and anti-regulation lobbying are largely a thing of the past, but nothing has really changed with Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac because the government is now raiding Fannie and Freddie’s profits to pay for general government expenses. That’s great for the budget deficit, but no so great if there is another economic downturn and Freddie/Fannie suffer loses on over $5 trillion in outstanding securities.

When (not if) that happens, the taxpayers will be left holding the bill.

Unless the plan is to make income inequality an even larger issue, killing Fannie and Freddie isn’t really a viable option. Doing so would ensure only the most wealthy would have access to mortgages, and the best interest rates.

That leaves one option - Finally fix them both. Ease Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac out of a conservatorship which was supposed to be a temporary “time out” after the 2007/2008 crisis, and stop the government from using Fannie and Freddie profits the same way it’s former executives did.

If/when Congress finally gets a backbone, Fannie and Freddie require some tough love in the form of better regulation, strictly enforced operating rules, and lobbying restrictions. The alternative is no American Dream, except for those who have already achieved it.


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