Commentary: Fannie And Friends: Time For A Performance Review

Fannie Mae. Sallie Mae. Freddie Mac. These nicknames for the Federal National Mortgage Assn., the Student Loan Marketing Assn., and the Federal Home Loan Mortgage Corp. have an appropriately friendly, homespun connotation. At no cost to the taxpayer, say their backers, these so-called government-sponsored enterprises (GSEs) make low-cost loans available for homeowners, farmers, and college students. Fannie Mae Chairman James A. Johnson says market efficiencies imposed by his company will save Americans who buy homes this year up to $14 billion.

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