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The Mortgage Market Is Back a Decade After the Credit Crisis—With New Risks

  • Market seen safer than pre-crisis amid Fed, government support
  • But central-bank unwind, low-volatility ‘addiction’ spur worry
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10 Years Later: The Bailout of Fannie & Freddie
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A decade after the credit crisis, investors are returning to where it all began. The U.S. mortgage sector, blamed in large part for the near-collapse of the global financial system, is now seen by many as a high-quality market forged by fire. Yet along with new players, new worries are emerging.

The mortgage-backed securities market, now mostly supported by U.S. government agencies, is undeniably safer than it was 10 years ago. Lending standards have improved as the share of riskier non-agency issuance has plunged. Meanwhile, the market has strengthened as more buyers seek stability -- and opportunity -- in a sector once tarnished by the housing-market implosion.