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    Morning Bell: Big Government Fails Again

    This weekend Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson announced that mortgage giants Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae will be placed in a government conservatorship that closely resembles a bankruptcy reorganization. The move puts U.S. taxpayers on the hook for $5.4 trillion in outstanding mortgage debt and commits the government to provide as … More

    Why Does Dodd Get Special Deal?

    As the sponsor of a $300 billion housing bailout, you’d think liberal Sen. Chris Dodd (D-Conn.) would disclose his ties to the mortgage industry. Guess again. As coverage of Dodd’s sweetheart deal has intensified, so too have the senator’s critics. In a new video outside Dodd’s Washington, D.C., townhouse, our … More

    Morning Bell: Fannie and Freddie at Core of Housing Crisis

    Jim Johnson, the man recently chosen by Sen. Barack Obama to search for a VP candidate, is under fire for receiving millions of dollars in below-market loans from Countrywide Financial Corp. chief executive Angelo Mozilo. Private entities like Countrywide are free to give generous loan agreements to whomever they want, … More

    Morning Bell: Steps to Halt Future Bailouts

    The Pew Charitable Trusts released a study yesterday surveying state action on the recent wave of increased foreclosures. Pew senior officer Tobi Walker told the Washington Post: “The states are experiencing this pain more directly than the federal government is.” This is partly true. A more accurate statement would be … More

    Mortgage Mess Varies by State

    Members of Congress, including three presidential candidates, are competing to “do something” to stabilize the housing market and show compassion after the wave of foreclosures on risky subprime mortgage loans. The crisis talk clouds the national picture, obscuring the varied state-by-state impact of the mortgage mess. The chart above uses … More

    Morning Bell: This 'Something' Will Not Help Mortgage Mess

    Sen. Hillary Clinton yesterday threw her weight behind a plan by Rep. Barney Frank (D-Mass.) and Sen. Chris Dodd (D-Conn.) to authorize the Federal Housing Administration (FHA) spend $20 billion in taxpayer money to guarantee up to $400 billion in questionable mortgages. Considering Sen. Barack Obama is already a co-sponsor … More

    Taxpayers Would Lose Under Senate's Mortgage Plan

    Among the many provisions of the Senate Finance Committee’s stimulus package is a legislative proposal to allow states to issue as much as $10 billion in new “mortgage bonds” to raise money to refinance the mortgage loans of troubled borrowers. States are already permitted limited use of such tax exempt … More