A More Promising Road to Reform

Urban Institute, Apr. 7, 2016–Zandi, Mark

In today’s housing finance system, two behemoth institutions, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, control most of the core infrastructure of the secondary market and take on most of its credit risk. While in many ways this system has served the nation well by providing a broad range of borrowers access to credit and a level playing field for lenders of all sizes, our reliance on this duopoly created perverse incentives that ultimately led to too much risk taking, forcing taxpayers to shoulder the resulting cost.