The GSEs play an extraordinarily successful double game . . . [telling] Congress and the news media, “Don’t worry, the government is not on the hook”—and then turn around and tell Wall Street, “Don’t worry, the government really is on the hook.”

—Richard Carnell (Fordham University Law Professor and former Assistant Secretary of the Treasury), Senate testimony, February 10, 2004

In 1818, a nineteen-year-old English girl, Mary Shelley, published her first novel. The novel tells the story of a young, talented scientist who discovers how to create life from the inanimate. Collecting old human bones and tissue, the scientist constructs ...

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