As Congress debates financial reform, an odd couple appears left out: Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. Yet these two organizations manage nearly one-third of all U.S. consumer debt, are under government conservatorship and have a bill to the taxpayers already approaching $100 billion.

Today, Fannie and Freddie are acting as direct arms of the federal government's provision of massive aid to support and revive the U.S. housing market. At the same time, their operating structure is that of private companies operating under the conservatorship of the U.S. government with capital provided by Uncle Sam.

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