From the AP today, re: the bailout of Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae, announced yesterday:
Most mortgage brokers expect Fannie and Freddie's lending standards to remain unchanged under the conservatorship. Over the past several months, the companies have tightened requirements substantially, making it hard for borrowers with any blemish on their credit reports to qualify for a loan.
However, brokers hope the government will eliminate or reduce fees that the pair have been charging lenders to gird against increased credit risk and losses from mortgages they buy. Those rising fees are squeezing out some borrowers because lenders typically pass them along through higher mortgage rates or higher upfront costs.
reason's Jeff Taylor, writing here a couple of weeks ago:
Banks are government sponsored enterprises too, just more competitive and charged with providing capital to the private economy in ways federal regulators and politicians desire. If that is the case, and the past 30 years certainly suggests it is, then recapitalizing the banks is going to take money from the Treasury. Lots of it.
The alternative is to permit market forces to allocate capital from private sources without direction from officials Washington or New York. Not very likely, especially in an election year.