Financial crises are more fun when they involve companies with goofy names like Fannie and Freddie

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I’ve just churned out a quickie Fannie-Freddie analysis for Here’s how it starts:

All debt issued by mortgage giants Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac comes with a prominent disclaimer: “Not guaranteed by the United States.” But the business model of both companies, not to mention the continued functioning of the U.S. mortgage market, depends on nobody quite believing that disclaimer. Wrap your head around that contradiction, and you’re well on your way to understanding the Fannie-Freddie drama currently gripping U.S. markets.

Anyway, go read it, if you’re into that kind of stuff. Then come back and tell me if I’ve gotten it all wrong.

Update: Ha! Newsweek‘s Dan Gross had to write a quickie online Fannie/Freddie explainer too!