“Fannie would rather foreclose all the bad and marginal mortgages now, even at very high loss rates, while losses are on the taxpayer, so that when it is once again a private company, these risky mortgages will be gone, and will not result in losses for its shareholders,” he said.

And:

Georgia Institute of Technology accounting professor Charles Mulford, who studies how companies report their finances, said Fannie and Freddie feel no compulsion to maximize profits now that they are controlled — and subsidized — by the government. The companies, he said, are more interested in getting troubled mortgages, including foreclosed homes, “off the books so they can start anew, making new loans, loans that are more profitable.

My question here: Is it true that Fannie and Freddie think that they’re going to go private again at some point?

Part three of the series is coming up. Very good work by the Free Press.

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Ryan Chittum is a former Wall Street Journal reporter, and deputy editor of The Audit, CJR's business section. If you see notable business journalism, give him a heads-up at rc2538@columbia.edu. Follow him on Twitter at @ryanchittum.