Russia

From Russia With Love: Did Putin Attempt to Force the U.S. to Bail Out Government-Sponsored Mortgage Giants?

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That's right, Pinky: Tonight, we're going to take down *the entire U.S. financial system!*

Who needs foreign enemies when you've got Congress to do their dirty work for them? In 2008, Russia apparently attempted to make a pact with China to force the U.S. to bail out government-sponsored enterprises Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. The plan, first reported in former Treasury Secratary Hank Paulson's memoirs, failed. But, like a football team that forgets which end of the field its goal posts are on, we ended up bailing out the two giant, quasi-public mortgage agencies anyway.

Naturally, Russian officials firmly deny the whole thing, presumably because they're in the midst of a deal to sell the idea to the makers of the next James Bond movie. 

Link via Clusterstock. Read more on bailouts and GSEs from Tim Cavanaugh.