"The federal government recently placed Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, the government chartered, privately owned mortgage finance companies, in conservatorship. These two massive companies are profit driven, but as government-sponsored enterprises (GSEs) they also have a government-mandated mission to provide liquidity and stability to the U.S. mortgage market and to achieve certain affordable housing goals. How the two companies should exit their conservatorship has implications that reach throughout the global financial markets and are of key importance to the future of American housing finance policy. While the American taxpayer will be required to fund a bailout of the two companies that will be measured in the hundreds of billions of dollars, the current state of affairs presents an opportunity to reform the two companies and the manner in which the residential mortgage market is structured. Few scholars, however, have provided a framework in which to conceptualize the possibilities for reform." Read more. "Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, and the Future of Federal Housing Finance Policy: A Study of Regulatory Privilege" David Reiss Policy Analysis, No. 674, April 18, 2011. Via the Cato Institute. Image by renjith krishnan / FreeDigitalPhotos.net.