Some reporter from a local TV station called yesterday. She had to leave a message as I was enjoying (what should be) a national holiday — the opening weekend of the NFL.
She left a message asking me if I’d like to go on-camera and opine about the federal “bail out” of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac those GSE’s (Government Sponsored Entities) we’ve all come to know and love. And misunderstand.
Good thing I missed the call, else I would have had to fall on my sword and and say, “Opinion? I have no opinion because I’m still trying to figure the whole thing out”.
So I jumped into my feed reader this morning and began to read. I swiftly realized two things: 1) you can’t swing a dead cat in the real estate / mortgage blogiverse without stumbling across a Fannie / Freddie post; and 2) opinions vary wildly but generally fall into the camp of “well, they (they being our pals in Washington) can’t let the whole things collapse as the world might just tip off-axis and go spinning off into the ether”.
It’s a link Extravaganza!
My initial reaction was, “what the heck is this going to cost?” — and I have yet to find the answer to that question. I’ve seen numbers upward of $200 billion. That’s $200,000,000,000 — a boatload of money by any standard.
I was all set to read and absorb and opine. But the more I read, the more my head hurt. Being one that is inclined to share my pain, rather than post yet another opinion (you know what they say about opinions) I thought instead I’d just provide a few links and let the reader here venture off and form their own opinion. It’d be cool if yall came back after your reading assignment and proffered your thoughts in the comments. . .
Here are but a few links to articles I found especially insightful:
Jeff Corbett over at Agent Genius provides his always insightful analysis and thoughts with, The Fannie and Freddie Government Makeover.
Dan Green at The Mortgage Reports speaks in plain English (mostly) in, Explaining What The Government’s Takeover Of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac Means To Mortgage Rates (In 265 Words).
Calculated Risk covers this thing like Deion Sanders on a wide receiver with a bad hammy. Fannie & Freddie Thoughts, and Fannie and Freddie Press Conference Videos. There is more there, much more. For a great look at the GSEs and mortgage-backed securities which can give you a better understanding of the whole sordid mess, check out Tanta’s post from April 2007, MBS for UberNerds I: GSE Pass-Throughs.
Alex Stenback opines well at Behind the Mortgage with, Monday Market Commentary: ‘Treasury Mac’ Edition.
Tyler Osby at Wealth With Mortgage gives us, The Fed Takes Over Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.
and Tyler links to A Eulogy, a funny (but interesting) one at Straight Talk About Mortgages and Real Estate.
Mike Muller does video as only Mike can do in, My 68 Porsche and Fannie Mae.
The best (not surprisingly) mainstream media coverage is at The Wall Street Journal.
And last, but by no means least, the always brilliant Jonathan Miller at Matrix provides us with, [GSEs Get A Seizure] It’s About Time.