July 8, 2013
By Phillip Swagel, The New Your Times
Taxpayers received $66 billion of good news last Monday in the form of dividends to the Treasury from Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac as part of the compensation for the bailout of the two government-sponsored enterprises (GSEs). The bad news is that these payments reflect the fact that the two firms remain in government hands nearly five years after being taken into conservatorship in September 2008, putting taxpayers at risk in the event of another housing downturn.
A fundamental change in this situation requires congressional action, which is always difficult in our divided political system. Even so, legislation introduced recently by a bipartisan group of eight senators led by Bob Corker, a Tennessee Republican, and Mark Warner, a Virginia Democrat, has focused renewed attention on housing finance reform.