"Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac are in trouble. That much even the occasional reader of newspaper headlines knows. But who are they, exactly, and what have they done to prompt the federal government to announce it was standing by with a possible multibillion-dollar bailout?"
Delinquency rates on nontraditional mortgages
"Table 3 shows the delinquency rates of the NTMs [non-traditional mortgages] that were outstanding on June 30, 2008. The grayed area contains virtually all the NTMs. The contrast in quality, based on delinquency rates, between these loans and Fannie and Freddie prime loans in lines 9 and 10 is clear."