Wednesday, September 9, 2009

'Fannie Mae' and 'Freddie Mac'

Oh, those nutty economists. Just how nutty are those economists? Well, first they set-up two drearily-named organisations that do things that I’ll never understand but that involve money. These were the Federal National Mortgage Association and the Federal Home Lone Mortgage Corporation. Perhaps as those names were tough to condense into 7-digit telephone numbers, they decided to give their acronyms cutesy pronunciations. So “FNMA” became “Fannie Mae”, which is better I guess than “Finn Ma”, what I would have come up with, and “FHLMC” became “Freddie Mac”, a stretch if I’ve ever heard one. I get the “Mac” bit, but “FHL” has pretty much nothing whatsoever to do with “Freddie”… perhaps they could have tried “Franhilda Mac”?

Oh well. Again, them wacky economists – what’re you gonna do? The thing is, though, that the FNMA and the FHLMC are so fond of their cutesy nicknames that they’ve actually rebranded themselves accordingly – ignoring the question of who would ever take a stuffed-shirt organisation seriously with a name that either is British English for ‘Vagina Possibly’ or sounds like the late Bernie Mac’s little brother.

No wonder they needed bailouts.

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