FANNIE & FREDDIE….TAKE TWO….Last night I linked to “There Goes the Neighborhood,” a 2004 piece in the Monthly about the housing bubble. It was written before the subprime market really took off, and among other things, it placed a share of the blame for the bubble on Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.
Was that right? If you’re interested in more, check out Paul Krugman today, who essentially argues that F&F aren’t really to blame, and then Tanta at Calculated Risk, who argues that although there are other, bigger culprits out there, F&F bear more responsibility for the housing bubble/collapse than Krugman admits. All three pieces together make pretty good reading.
And while we’re on the subject, isn’t it sort of amazing that we’ve seen the collapse within a few months of Bear Stearns, IndyMac, Freddie Mac, and Fannie Mae — and we aren’t in even worse shape than we are? In a perverse way, it’s a testament to our economy that we can absorb so much catastrophe in such a short period of time without even more pain than we’ve already suffered. Keep your fingers crossed.