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They [Fannie Mae and Freddy Mac] were created by FDR in 1938 to fund mortgages insured by the Federal Home Administration. They were used by every president as a means to achieve this weird American value that every last person must own a home, no matter what. So they were given the legal permission to purchase private mortgages and make them part of their portfolios. Still later, under LBJ and Nixon, they became public companies and sold stock. People called this privatization, but that isn’t quite right. They had access to a guaranteed line of credit creation with the US Treasury. They had lower borrowing costs than any private-sector equivalent.

Government intervention is like a vial of mutating poison in the water supply. We can get by for a long time and no one seems really worse off. One day we wake up and everyone is desperately ill, and blaming not the poison but the water itself. So it is with the housing crisis. Lenders are being blamed for the entire fiasco, and capitalism is going to be subjected to a beating as usual, since Freddie and Fannie are traded in public markets. But the fact remains that there is only one reason that this went on as long as it did and became as bad as it is. It was that vial of government poison.

Full Article here: Freddie, Fannie, and Curses on FDR – Llewellyn H. Rockwell Jr. – Mises Daily.