I was "present at the creation" of Freddie Mac's risk management culture--all of those people who had absorbed the Foster-Van Order approach to pricing mortgage default risk. That was the culture that Syron rejected. I was proud to be part of that culture, and I would have felt hurt no matter how Syron's new policy turned out. But the new policy drove Freddie Mac to the brink of bankruptcy, if not beyond. As a result, I believe that the risk-assessment models that we so proudly developed will die along with the company.
I read the post when Arnold first wrote it, but it struck me as especially poignent now. As it happens, when I was at the ASSA meetings, the people I went to dinner with on both nights all either once worked at or currently still do work at Freddie. This was not by design--they were just all people I like hanging out with, because they are all caring and exceedingly competent people. They are the sort of people that led me to want to work at Freddie during my brief absence from academia. That culture that Arnold writes about was pretty special, and it would be nice if somehow we could get it back.