Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac together own or guarantee about $5 trillion in mortgages, about half of the entire U.S. mortgage market.
These two are, of course, in the news a fair bit now, being on the brink of collapse. Their biggest foreign creditor is China.
Especially hard hit, U.S. bank shares fell this week to their lowest level since 1996 on fears of seemingly endless losses.
That has GOT to be telling you something. I don't know about you, but I am surprised this kind of stuff isn't making it to front page news on Slashdot, even though it isn't nerdy it certainly affects anyone living in the US, nerds included.
Gerard Cassidy, another RBC analyst, estimates that more than 300 U.S. banks could close their doors in the next three years, double what he had estimated back in February. Only a handful have failed so far.
Not a good time to be in debt, methinks. But of course it's not as though everyone is going to get poor over this (although it will probably be everyone I know). Some people stand to become ever-more-filthy rich, but they ought to be a little afraid themselves.
But what I think is scarier than poverty is the extreme probability that the US will kick off (or join in) a war with Iran very very soon. Where will they get soldiers for this? Maybe by the time they are needed, there will be an awful lot of unemployed and homeless young men walking around the streets waiting to be scooped up to help a ground invasion of a flattened, post-nuclear Iran.