A Republican Populist On a Mission

Louisiana Representative Richard Baker is on a roll, reining in Freddie and Fannie and forcing more disclosure from mutual funds

Representative Richard H. Baker (R-La.) and Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan share two interests: stargazing and curbing the risk to the financial system posed by mortgage-finance giants Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. So when Baker got a photo of a star exploding into two gaseous clouds, he sent a copy to Greenspan with a note about the risks represented by big, complex systems -- a thinly veiled allusion to the two mortgage behemoths.

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