Unlimited Fannie And Freddie Bailouts

Posted by Jason | Posted in Government | Posted on 28-12-2009

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According to a post on The Business Insider, the Treasury department gave Fannie and Freddie a blank check, so they can be as stupid as they want to be.

The Treasury snuck in another big bailout on Christmas Eve: It removed the cap on the amount of money it will provide to Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac to cover their ongoing mortgage losses. There is now no limit on how much we taxpayers will shovel down these black holes.

The move is designed to reassure Fannie and Freddie bondholders, who provide a lot of the money the companies use to support the housing market. These bondholders have now apparently been given an explicit government guarantee, in perpetuity. The move is also obviously designed to continue to prop up house prices, which, thanks to artificially low mortgage rates, are still above long-term norms.

On a more positive note, the Treasury also announced that it will stop buying Fannie and Freddie mortgages (though the Fed will presumably keep doing so). The total bailout so far is $111 billion.

The removal of the cap will further distort prices and activity in the housing market, which is now massively subsidized by government programs. It will continue to reward bondholders for being stupid. And it will likely result in additional huge losses for taxpayers.

It was obviously not an accident that the Treasury announced the plan after the market close on Christmas Eve, or that the press-release headline made the announcement sound like a mere “update.” Republicans, understandably, are screaming.

via Geithner Gives Housing Industry A Huge Christmas Present: Unlimited Fannie And Freddie Bailouts.

If you were told no matter what risky investments you made you would not take loses, would you be more risky or less? Apparently, the government thinks that removing the risk is the best way to fix these irresponsible government sponsored entities.

This must be more of the transparency of the Obama administration releasing this information on Christmas Eve, when most people are trying to enjoy time with their families. Little did they know, they were getting bent over by the government again.

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