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Thursday, April 26, 2012



Thank You

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Jason Delisle


What about CBO's comment on the estimates you cite: "In CBO’s view, FCRA-based cost estimates [the one cited in this post] do not provide a full accounting of what federal credit programs actually cost the government because they do not incorporate the full cost of the risk associated with the loans." The CBO report from March 2012 is title "Fair-Value Accounting for Federal Credit Programs"

The CBO reports the numbers you cite because it is required to by federal law -- but given the CBO's March 2012 paper, the agency doesn't believe those are accurate numbers.

In 2010, CBO calculated that the subsidy for a typical federal student loan is about 12% using fair-value estimates. CBO is barred from using that figure -- which it believe is the more accurate one according to its 2012 paper -- in official estimates according to the Federal Credit Reform Act of 1990.

I'd also point out using official estimates like those for student loans (which shows erroneous profits) shows that Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac are very very profitable, too. So they rules are so misleading, Fannie and Freddie are profit machines. The CBO explained this in a public letter to Rep. Barney Frank in 2010. Letter is available on CBO's website.

Jason Delisle
New America Foundation

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