Decades from now August 2008 will likely be remembered to mark the turning point where legislative blundering took an otherwise serious financial crisis and molested it into an epic financial collapse.
By fully assuming the liabilities of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, the two colossal and corrupt (and conduit of corruptness funneling junk Countrywide Financial loans onto the implied balance sheet of the federal government) government sponsored enterprises, the federal government, led by Treasury Secretary Paulson and Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke, has thrust taxpayers into the abyss of insolvency with one mighty shove.
Given the sheer size of these government sponsored companies, with loan guarantee obligations recently estimated by Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis President William Poole of totaling $4.47 Trillion (That’s TRILLION with a capital T… for perspective ALL U.S. government debt held by the public totals roughly $4.87 Trillion) this legislative reversal making certain the “implied” government guarantee is reckless to say the least.
The following chart (click for larger) shows what Fannie Mae terms the count of “Seriously Delinquent” loans as a percentage of all loans on their books.
It’s important to understand that Fannie Mae does NOT segregate foreclosures from delinquent loans when reporting these numbers and that should they report the delinquent results as a percentage of the unpaid principle balance, things might likely look a lot worse.
Finally, the following chart (click for larger) shows the relative movements of Fannie Mae’s credit and non-credit enhanced (insured and non-insured) “Seriously Delinquent” loans.