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The economy, explained, with stories and surprises. Imagine you could call up a friend and say, "Meet me at the bar and tell me what's going on with the economy." Now imagine that's actually a fun evening. That's what we're going for at <em>Planet Money</em>. People seem to like it.


#243: The Frankenstein Mortgage

January 15th, 2011

Episode 340 of 902 episodes

The 30-year, fixed-rate mortgage -- the bedrock of American home ownership -- is a weird loan. In an ordinary market, you'd have to pay a really high interest rate to get a 30-year fixed, if you could get it at all. Only the intervention of the government -- and the creation of Fannie Mae -- turned the loan into America's plain-vanilla mortgage. On today's Planet Money, Bethany McLean and Joe Nocera (authors of All the Devils Are Here, a book on the financial crisis) walk us through the 30-year-fixed and the history of Fannie and Freddie. And they talk about where we go from here.