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Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac

The turmoil around Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac is emblematic of the greed and corruption that permeate the American government and business community. If we were to let the Republicans’ beloved free market system operate normally, their likely failure could destroy the national or possibly the world economy. So, in the short term a bailout is probably necessary. But Harvard’s Larry Summers summed up the situation in an interview the other day saying that we may privatize Fannie’s gains and socialize its losses, transferring the losses to the taxpayer. Of course, because the Republicans do not pay taxes, the actual losses will be transferred to our children and grandchildren. But we’ll take care of them by letting inflation run wild, so that a trillion dollars will be nothing to them, just like it is in Zimbabwe’s currency.

It’s interesting that when the legislation dealing with the mortgage/housing crisis starting moving through Congress, it dealt mainly with a bailout for people who were being foreclosed, but when it finally passed the big winners were the financiers on Wall Street, in the form of the Fannie and Freddie bailout. The financiers get trillions, the homeowners only get billions.

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