The Corner

Demanding Transparency at Fannie and Freddie

Given that misconduct at Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac is largely to blame for the current financial eschaton, a few weeks ago I argued for greater transparency at the GSEs:

Now that Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac’s failures have forced the federal government to put both into conservatorship — costing taxpayers some $200 billion — Americans, who now own the two entities, are entitled to know what role the government-sponsored enterprises (GSEs) played in creating this mess.

The public needs to see every relevant scrap of paper: every balance sheet, expense report, and executive pay stub — and most importantly, every lobbying contract, memo related to meetings with lawmakers and anything else related to their dealings with Congress.

Today, some 33 House Republicans sent a letter to the director of the Federal Housing Finance Authority demanding exactly that:

We write to call for increased transparency in the financial dealings and decision making by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. As our nation faces challenging economic times, and both congress and the American people are struggling to understand the true reasons behind them, we feel that providing open access to the documents and financial paperwork of these two massive organizations would go far towards helping us not only understand what failed, but also make the necessary changes to prevent us from going down this road again.

You can read the whole letter here.

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