A pox on all their houses

No, Fannie and Freddie are still here. They may be off the front page, but the cha-ching from the cash register continues to sound. It's now clich?; housing got us into this mess, and housing will get us out. If that's true, get comfortable, because it's gonna be a while. While Washington dithers with an economic "stimulus" aimed at somehow revitalizing the private sector by fixing roads, bridges, the Smithsonian, water parks in Miami, etc., little action has been taken to incentivize home buying. Stop rearranging the deck chairs and fix the hole (housing) in the side of the ship.

But back to Feddie and Fannie. The Wall Street Journal has an excellent update of the costs associated with this (implicit) government-backed debacle, and it ain't pretty. Can someone tell me how Barney Frank has the cojones to keep talking. Key paragraph:

"Earlier this month, CBO released its biannual budget outlook. And largely ignored underneath the $1.2 trillion deficit estimate for fiscal 2009 was the little matter of a $238 billion charge for rescuing Fan and Fred. To put that in perspective, $238 billion is more than the entire federal budget deficit in fiscal 2007 ... for all anyone knows, that number, like the earlier estimates, is wildly optimistic." [emphasis mine]

Read the whole thing at online.wsj.com, if you can stomach it.

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