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More economic news and commentary, courtesy of SurvivalBlog’s Economic Editor: Fannie & Freddie: Buying Friends in D.C., Fannie & Freddie Bailout Destined to Fail as US Debt Doubles, Mortgage Giant Overstated Its Capital Base, Fannie and Freddie: Just the Beginning of the Derivatives Deleveraging Bailout, Lehman Bros. Worth a Big FAT Zero?, Fannie Mae Faces Investor Lawsuit, Berkshire, in Blow to Banks, Reins in its Deposit Insurer, Wall Street Trading Gets Zero Value from Lehman, Merrill Owners, WaMu Removes CEO, and Paulson’s Actions Herald the Financial Collapse of the US Economy.
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The Rude Awakening‘s Chris Mayer notes: “Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, and the Federal Home Loan Bank System (all government-sponsored enterprises, or GSEs) have become giants in the mortgage markets. The Big Three have grown at such a rapid rate over recent years that at the end of 2000, they collectively held $2.9 trillion of mortgage debt, which was equivalent to nearly 56 percent of all US household mortgage debt.” That is a mountain of debt, and the American taxpayers are the inevitable surety for it. Most of it is good debt, some of it is so-so debt, and some of it absolute garbage debt held by NINJAs, The mainstream press has tossed around the figure of $200 billion USD to bail out Fannie and Freddie, but the truth is that the final price tag is imponderable. It is impossible to predict, since the credit market and the housing market are both still in collapse, and we don’t yet know where the “bottom” is. As I’ve previously mentioned, these bailouts are just part of the collective Mother of All Bailouts (MOAB) that has a good chance of bankrupting America.