Showing posts from July, 2013

Q&A with British Author Oonagh McDonald

In an exhaustive study of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, British author Oonagh McDonald concludes that the two government-sponsored enterprises led the way in pushing down lending standards for the entire mortgage industry from the early 1990s onward. Their role was largely concealed from the public eye because they hid the ongoing erosion of lending standards in a black box underwriting system that was manipulated internally to approve loans for borrowers with bad credit and who could not be shown to be able to repay the loan. The banks and Wall Street followed their lead, according to Dr. McDonald. 

When Fannie and Freddie moved deeper into subprime after 2000, it pushed private label securitizers of mortgages even deeper into the bad credit pool. Fannie and Freddie became the number one purchaser of private label securities, driving the growth of this market. When delinquencies rose, private label mortgage-backed securities (RMBS) and their associated collateralized debt obligations (C…