Andrew Fieldhouse, Karel Mertens, Morten Ravn, 02 May 2017

Despite the significant role of housing government-sponsored enterprises in the US mortgage markets, their activities have not been subject to much scrutiny by macroeconomists. Using a monthly sample covering 40 years, this column asks how portfolio mortgage purchase activities have affected the availability of housing credit and key aggregate variables. The results indicate a key role for the agencies in shaping the US economy, as well as significant interactions and similarities between housing credit policies and conventional monetary policy.

Viral Acharya, Matthew Richardson, 13 May 2011

Viral Acharya and Matthew Richardson of New York University talk to Viv Davies about their book ‘Guaranteed to Fail: Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac and the Debacle of Mortgage Finance’. The financial collapse of these government sponsored enterprises led to a government intervention that has already cost US taxpayers around $150 billion. The authors discuss how these institutions collapsed, why housing finance in the US is broken and what now needs to be done to reform the system. The interview was recorded in London in May 2011. [Also read the transcript.]

Viral Acharya, Matthew Richardson , Stijn Van Nieuwerburgh, Lawrence White, 11 May 2011

At the centre of the global financial crisis was a housing boom and bust. A New York University team has produced an excellent book on the flaws in the design of US housing finance that opened the door for the mayhem that followed. This column, the first of a series of two, describes the race to the bottom that occurred among Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, and the too-big-to-fail private financial institutions.

Charles Wyplosz, 20 July 2008

Should taxpayers bail out the banking system? One of the world’s leading international macroeconomists contrasts the Larry Summers “don’t-scare-off-the-investors” pro-bailout view with the Willem Buiter “they-ran-into-a wall-with-eyes-wide-open” anti-bailout view. He concludes that either way, taxpayers are always the losers. The best policy makers can do is to be merciless with shareholders and gentle with bank customers.

Events