What if Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, the government-owned housing agencies that backstop so many of the nation's mortgages, ceased to exist? A new report from an influential bipartisan think tank says that's what should happen.
The government is changing the terms of its bailout agreement with Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac in a way that will shrink the holdings of the two mortgage giants more quickly and will require payment to the government of all quarterly profits the companies earn.
Mortgage finance giants Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac may not even exist in their current forms after a revamp of the U.S. housing finance system, Assistant Treasury Secretary Michael Barr said on Tuesday. Moreover, "private gains will no longer be subsidized by public losses," he said.