Tuesday, April 7th, 2009 - 9:59
"Fannie and Freddie are the backbone of the mortgage market in this country. Unfortunately, when they were created, the law allowed them to have very thin capitalization. They could be leveraged up to 100 to 1, if you will—unbelievable leverage.”
Last year mortgage markets experienced a complete meltdown,triggering one of the most significant shifts in globalfinancial markets since the early part of the 20th century.Last year mortgage markets experienced a complete meltdown,triggering one of the most significant shifts in globalfinancial markets since the early part of the 20th century.The housing sector weakened for the second year in a rowwith substantial declines in housing starts and sales of newhomes. Uncertainty and instability in the mortgage marketshave captured the attention of the nation while taking theirtoll on the global economy. Problems with foreclosures andcredit availability have been especially troublesome and atthe forefront of public discussion.We spoke with James Lockhart, Director of the FederalHousing Finance Agency about his agency’s critical efforts inhelping to restore confidence and ensure ongoing liquidity inthese markets.