For a Quicker Housing Fix: Nationalize Fannie, Freddie?
Should Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac be nationalized? The government last month took a big step to underscore its support for the mortgage-finance giants when it pledged to cover unlimited losses over the next three years. But the plan has always been to ultimately return Fannie and Freddie to private ownership. Some say Uncle Sam should end that illusion and, instead, nationalize the companies in order to more aggressively stabilize the housing market. One such scenario, outlined by Thomas Stanton, a fellow at the Center for the Study of American Government at Johns Hopkins University, would have the government nationalize Fannie and Freddie for the next five years, with an option to renew government ownership every five years after that.