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American BondsHow Credit Markets Shaped a Nation$
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Sarah L. Quinn

Print publication date: 2019

Print ISBN-13: 9780691156750

Published to Princeton Scholarship Online: January 2020

DOI: 10.23943/princeton/9780691156750.001.0001

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A Return to Securitization

A Return to Securitization

(p.174) 9 A Return to Securitization
American Bonds

Sarah L. Quinn

Princeton University Press

This chapter discusses the distributional politics of mortgage markets and securitization in the postwar era and explains their transformation in the 1960s as the Federal National Mortgage Association (FNMA/Fannie Mae) was “spun off” from the government and authorized to finance itself by issuing a new kind of government-guaranteed mortgage-backed security. In the second half of the decade, a series of crises marked the end of one era and the beginning of a long transition into a new one marked by scarcity, neoliberalism, and financialization. The end of postwar affluence created a distributional struggle over which social groups would pay for what, and that process played out through the highly contentious and veto-ridden world of budget politics. Housing credit was doubly implicated in these fights, first because it was hit hard and early in market corrections, and second because its credit programs could be used for off-budget accounting. For all that the new approach to securitization reflected a changing relationship between the state and the market, the modern mortgage-backed security continued to reflect the institutional logic of the credit programs: the use of state-promoted financial development and risk redistribution as an alternative to more direct forms of wealth redistribution.

Keywords:   distributional politics, mortgage markets, securitization, Fannie Mae, mortgage-backed security, budget politics, housing credit, credit programs, financial development, risk redistribution

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