Tag Archives: Fannie Mae

Friends I wonder if this is clear…

Friends I wonder if this is clear

Next, let us examine a method of detection of fragility. We can illustrate it with the story of the giant government sponsored lending firm called Fannie Mae, a corporation that collapsed, leaving the United States Taxpayer with hundreds of billions of dollars of losses and, alas, still counting.One day in 2003, Alex Berenson, a New York Times journalist came into my office with the secret risk reports of Fannie Mae, given to him by a defector. It was the kind of report getting into the guts of the methodology for risk calculation that only an insider can see — Fannie Mae makes its own risk calculations and disclosed what it wants to whomever, the public or someone else. But only a defector could show us the guts to see how the risk was calculated.

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EconTalk -Taleb on the Financial Crisis

Nassim Taleb talks with EconTalk host Russ Roberts about the financial crisis, how we misunderstand rare events, the fragility of the banking system, the moral hazard of government bailouts, the unprecedented nature of really, really bad events, the contribution of human psychology to misinterpreting probability and the dangers of hubris. The conversation closes with a discussion of religion and probability.