Wednesday, September 10, 2008

The Really, Really Big M's

On All Things Considered last night, Adam Davidson talked about what would have happened if Fannie May and Freddie Mac had failed, and I was shocked to hear that the amount of debt that they’re in for is $5 trillion dollars, which puts them at a larger debt than any other country (aside from the credit-riding US of course). What that means is that if Japan or the UK went bankrupt, it would have a smaller financial impact on the world than the potential bankruptcy of Fannie and Freddie. This is pretty scary news and really gives a perspective on both how important and how crazy these two companies are. As someone who’s averse to any kind of debt, it seems to me to underscore a lot of what’s wrong with our American culture.
One thing to note is that I was surprised at how much debt Fanny and Freddie were carrying, but at least I know that they were private institutions. That’s more than I can say for Sarah Palin, who seems to think that they’re taxpayer funded but doesn’t see her complete ignorance of important issues (among many other things to be covered in an upcoming blog rant) as a problem.

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