Wednesday, July 06, 2011

What is the incidence of the Fannie-Freddie bailout?

There is lot of rending of garments and gnashing of teeth that the FF bailout will cost something like $300 billion, including the implicit subsidy to mortgages that are guaranteed (the cash flow cost right now is something like $130 billion).  So for an economy whose GDP is roughly $14.5 trillion, this is a little more than two percent of GDP.

To whom does the money go?  Given that shareholders were essentially wiped out, it goes to largely three places: holders of Fannie and Freddie debt, the US Treasury (which owns preferred shares in the companies) and homeowners.  I am curious how this shakes out distributionally.  Clearly, homeowners are on average richer than renters, and bondholders are richer than non-bond holders, so the bail-out must have some regressive implications, but it is not clear to me how much so.  It is at least worth thinking about.



TStockmann said...

Although it may seems like a rounding error in the bailout, there are other beneficiaries who certainly did a mite better than any individual mortgage holder...

The top six executives of the two mortgage giants, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, received a combined total of $35.4 million during 2009 and 2010. According to a newly issued report by the inspector general of the Federal Housing Finance Agency, the CEOs of both companies alone were paid a shocking $17 million over the past two years.

adding in the other Fannie/Freddie employees reduces somewhat the regressivity, but I suspect not by much.

Boris said...

I agree with what TStockmann said.