Supporters of Sen. Chris Dodd’s financial regulation bill say it will end financial bailouts. In fact, the Senate — anxious to reassure Americans on that fact — even added an amendment last week with a stated purpose “[t]o prohibit taxpayers from ever having to bail out the financial sector.” But someone forgot to tell the folks across town at Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae. Freddie last week announced it had lost $8 billion in the first quarter of the year, and would be asking for another $10.6 in taxpayer help. And today, its twin Fannie announced a $11.5 billion loss, and asked for a further $8.4 billion in aid from taxpayers. That’s in addition to the nearly $145 billion in aid to Fannie and Freddie have already received.
So did the two government-sponsored enterprises slip this bailout in under the wire before Congress stopped them? Not quite. In fact, the plan does nothing to reform either Fannie or Freddie. That apparently is not a priority. Sen. Mark Warner, in fact, said that a plan for reform of these out-of-control firms will have to wait until next year.
Sens. John McCain, Richard Shelby and Judd Gregg are planning to introduce an amendment to the Senate legislation to require action to address Fannie and Freddie. It’s not expected to pass.
This is a serious hole in the USS Dodd. And it’s the American taxpayer who will be drenched as a result.