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Shaky Ground: The Strange Saga of the U.S. Mortgage Giants

Bethany McLean

Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac were created by Congress to serve the American Dream of homeownership. By the end of the century, they had become extremely profitable and powerful companies, instrumental in putting millions of Americans in their homes.

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Book Information

Publisher: Columbia Global Reports
Publish Date: 09/13/2015
Pages: 159
ISBN-13: 9780990976301
ISBN-10: 0990976300
Language: English

What We're Saying

December 02, 2015

We conclude our series of looks "inside the longlist" with a look inside this year's Finance and Economics category. READ FULL DESCRIPTION

November 03, 2015

These 40 books—five selections across eight distinct categories—make up the 800-CEO-READ Business Book Awards Longlist. READ FULL DESCRIPTION

September 14, 2015

Financial journalist Bethany McLean tackles one of strangest unsolved mysteries of the global financial crisis: Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. READ FULL DESCRIPTION

September 17, 2015

Bethany McLean weaves a tale of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac that enlightens, enrages, and educates. READ FULL DESCRIPTION

Full Description

Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac were created by Congress to serve the American Dream of homeownership. By the end of the century, they had become extremely profitable and powerful companies, instrumental in putting millions of Americans in their homes. So why does the government now want them dead? In 2008, the U.S. Treasury put Fannie and Freddie into a life-support state known as "conservatorship" to prevent their failure--and worldwide economic chaos. The two companies, which were always controversial, have become a battleground. Today, Fannie and Freddie are profitable again but still in conservatorship. Their profits are being redirected toward reducing the federal deficit, which leaves them with no buffer should they suffer losses again. China and Japan are big owners of Fannie and Freddie securities, and they want to ensure the safety of their investments--which helps explain why the government is at an impasse about what to do. But the current state of limbo is unsustainable. Based on comprehensive reporting and dozens of interviews, Shaky Ground by bestselling author Bethany McLean, chronicles the story of Fannie and Freddie seven years after the meltdown, and tells us why homeownership finance is now one of the biggest unsolved issues in today's global

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