"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?"
The Effect of Government Policies on the Growth of the Bubble
"Figure 2 illustrates clearly that the 1997-2007 bubble was built on a foundation of 27 million subprime and Alt-A mortgages and shows the relationship between the cumulative growth in the dollar amount of NTMs [non-traditional mortgages] and the growth of the bubble over time. It includes both GSE and CRA contributions to the number of outstanding NTMs above the normal baseline of 30 percent, and estimated CRA lending under the merger-related commitments of the four large banks—Bank of America, Wells Fargo, Citibank and JPMorgan Chase—that, with their predecessors, made most of the commitments. As noted above, these commitments were made in connection with applications to federal regulators for approvals of mergers or acquisitions. The dollar amounts involved were taken from a 2007 report by the NCRC, 21 and adjusted for announced loans and likely rates of lending. The cumulative estimated CRA production line also includes almost $1 trillion in NTM lending by Countrywide Financial under HUD’s Best Practices Initiative."