Fannie Mae & Freddie Mac Failure: The Lies, the Cover Ups and the Making of a Disaster
The Real Cost of a Full Bailout: A recent study from the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) has zero credibility. It pegged likely taxpayer losses in the Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac bailouts at $25 billion. For those with a sense of history, it is worth remembering that the S&L bailout had a $160 billion price tag. The numbers diverge so far from reality as to be laugh-out-loud funny. Funny, that is, except that the CBO estimate demonstrates a willful disconnect with the actual consequences of federal government actions.
"For those with a sense of history, it is worth remembering that the S&L bailout had a $160 billion price tag. "
"If the people were to ever find out what we have done, we would be chased down the streets and lynched." -- George Bush, cited in the June, 1992 Sarah McClendon Newsletter
"As of 1996, the cost of the S&L bailout was estimated at $481 billion. (Gory details here.) In today's money, that would be $674 billion, using the Consumer Price Index. On a per capita basis, that comes out to $2,210."
Buffett Says Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac `Game Is Over'
By Josh P. Hamilton
Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, the two largest mortgage finance companies, ``don't have any net worth,'' billionaire investor Warren Buffett said.
``The game is over'' as independent companies said Buffett, the 77-year-old chairman of Berkshire Hathaway Inc., in an interview on CNBC today. ``They were able to borrow without any of the normal restraints. They had a blank check from the federal government.''
Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae touched 20-year lows yesterday on the New York Stock Exchange on speculation a government bailout will leave the stocks worthless. U.S. Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson won approval from Congress last month to pump emergency capital into the companies, which account for more than half of the $12 trillion U.S. mortgage market.
Fannie and Freddie mispriced their products and ``kept existing because they had the federal government behind them,'' Buffett said. Omaha, Nebraska-based Berkshire had been among the largest holders of Freddie until about 2001, when it became apparent the company wasn't being run well, he said.