Much Ado on Fannie & Freddie

$100 Billion and Rising, that's the cost of the Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac Bail outs.


When Congress was debating the bailout of Fannie and Freddie last July, the official estimate from the Congressional Budget Office was that a bailout would most likely cost taxpayers $25 billion, with only a 5% chance of the price tag reaching $100 billion between them.

In addition, both Fannie and Freddie are likely to need billions of dollars more after they report second quarter results in the coming weeks. Experts believe the cost will only continue to rise in the next year.

"We're assuming they each will cross the $100 billion mark fairly soon. They could be hitting the $200 billion barrier by the end of next year," said Bose George, mortgage analyst at Keefe, Bruyette & Woods, an investment bank specializing in financial services firms.

What is most interesting, just how wrong the CBO was in their estimates.

And notice we haven't heard much about Fannie and Freddie for months?

Over at the Huffington Post, Ben Protess notices this too.

Although Geithner has described Fannie and Freddie as "a core part of what went wrong in our system," they were absent from President Obama's financial regulatory overhaul plan announced last month and Geithner recently told Congress that he has no immediate plans to overhaul them or cut them loose. "We want to [reform Fannie and Freddie] carefully and well," he said at a June Senate Banking Committee hearing. "And we did not think that was necessary to do at this stage."

The rest of the Huffington Post article is a history of campaign contributions and the political muzzling that has gone on when anyone tries to reform Freddie Mac or Fannie Mae.

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