The US federal government has had to nationalise the two biggest holders of home mortgages to prevent them both going bust. It’s the least the government could do after not regulating the over-ambitious selling of mortgages to millions of poorer US citizens over a prolonged period. The enormous state guarantee of finance to these two private enterprises comes after previous, apparently, inadequate attempts to prop up both companies involved, Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae. The sums involved (taxpayer provided of course) are eye-watering as the C4 report, linked above, indicates. We might expect similar action here too, especially as the short-term ask-no-questions-guv, loan facility provided by the Bank of England to our major mortgage brokers is to come to an end on October 20th. There has been much lobbying in the newspaper business pages for an extension of this provision, we will see whether the bank, and its bosses, Mr Brown and Mr Darling, think they can afford not to do so.
Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae – what are they? From The Guardian.
And from The Telegraph
Bill Emmott – former editor of The Economist on what the Federal government has done, in bailing out the two financial institutions, and why.
New York Times narrative on collapse of Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae