Bank of China flees Fannie-Freddie
Cracks in the Empire
by Michael S. Rozeff
Building an empire is one thing. Preserving it is quite another.
"If the U.S. government allows Fannie and Freddie to fail and international investors are not compensated adequately, the consequences will be catastrophic. If it is not the end of the world, it is the end of the current international financial system. The seriousness of such failures could be beyond the stretch of people's imagination." These are the words of Yu Yongding, who is a Professor in Beijing and a former advisor to China’s central bank (August 22, 2008, in Bloomberg news).
We should listen to Prof. Yongding. The Bloomberg article reports: "Yu is ‘influential’ among government officials and investors and has discussed economic issues with Premier Wen Jiabao this year, said Shen Minggao, a former Citigroup Inc. economist in Beijing, now an economist at business magazine Caijing."
China has loaned Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac huge amounts of money: "China's $376 billion of long-term U.S. agency debt is mostly in Fannie and Freddie assets, according to James McCormack, head of Asian sovereign ratings at Fitch Ratings Ltd. in Hong Kong. The Chinese government probably holds the bulk of that amount, according to McCormack."