Open CRS has provided two timely reports from the Congressional Research Service (CRS) on federal intervention in the current Wall Street crisis.

One is on the cost of past and present government interventions. The paper describes current interventions for AIG, Fannie and Freddie, and Bear Stearns, and a table summarizes interventions from the 1970s (Lockheed, Penn Central, New York City), 1980s (Chrysler, S&Ls), 2001 (U.S. Airlines), and the aforementioned firms in 2008.

The second report is on the legislative proposal, as of Sept. 21, for the $700 billion bailout by Treasury. The paper covers (1) various aspects of the draft proposals, among them: debt limit, definition of troubled asset, factors to guide intervention, management of mortgage-related assets, and loss mitigation and loan modification, and (2) FAQ such as: Does the proposal include provisions to help home owners facing foreclosure? How could financial turmoil affect the wider economy if nothing is done? Couldn't the same assets be purchased through Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac now that they are in a conservatorship backed by the Treasury?

The Cost of Government Financial Interventions, Past and Present
RS22956 (pdf, 6pp/68kB), September 23, 2008

Proposal to Allow Treasury to Buy Mortgage Related Assets to Address Financial Instability RS22957 (pdf, 6pp/72kB), September 22, 2008

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