97% of All U.S. Mortgages are Backed by the Government

George Washington's picture

Washington’s Blog

I heard a recent talk by Richard Wolff - Professor of Economics
Emeritus at the University of Massachusetts in Amherst (PhD in
Economics from Yale), where Wolff said that 97% of all U.S. mortgages are either written or guaranteed by the government.

As Bloomberg explained last August:


Mae and Freddie Mac, the government-controlled companies that issued
and guaranteed more than 71 percent of mortgage-backed bonds last year.
Between those companies and Ginnie Mae, which guarantees loans insured
by the Federal Housing Administration, the government backed nearly 97 percent of U.S. mortgages in 2009.

There are supposedly plans in Washington to wind down Fannie and Freddie. Critics say that would destroy the "recovery" in housing.

If continuing to throw money at Fannie and Freddie would stabilize the economy, I might be for it - even though it is not free market capitalism. I am not wed to either liberal or conservative ideologies, and am instead simply motivated to do whatever will work to stabilize the economy and help the most people.

But as I noted in January:

independent experts say that the government's housing programs have
been a failure. That's too bad, given that the housing slump is now -
according to Zillow's - worse than during the Great Depression.


Indeed, PhD economists John Hussman and Dean Baker, fund manager and financial writer Barry Ritholtz and New York Times' writer Gretchen Morgenson
say that the only reason the government keeps giving billions to
Fannie and Freddie is that it is really a huge, ongoing, back-door
bailout of the big banks.


Many also accuse Obama's foreclosure relief programs as being backdoor bailouts for the banks. (See this, this, this and this).




Freddie and Fannie's recent settlement with Bank of America - a
couple of billion - has been criticized by many as being a bailout.


In "BofA Freddie Mac Putbacks Resolved for 1¢ on $", Barry Ritholtz notes:

Bank of America settled numerous claims with Fannie Mae for an astonishingly cheap rate, according to a Bloomberg report.


premium of $1.28 billion was paid to Freddie Mac to resolve $1
billion in claims currently outstanding. But the kicker is that the
deal also covers potential future claims on $127 billion in loans sold by Countrywide through 2008. That amounts to 1 cent on the dollar to Freddie Mac.

In "Is Fannie bailing out the banks?", Forbes' Colin Barr writes:

Someone must be getting bailed out, right?

yes, say critics of the giant banks. They charge that Monday's
rally-stoking mortgage-putback deal between Bank of America (BAC) and
Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac is nothing more than a backdoor bailout of
the nation's largest lender. It comes courtesy, they say, of an
administration struggling to find a fix for the housing market while
quaking at the prospect of another housing-fueled banking meltdown.

arrangement, according to this view, will keep the banks standing --
but leave taxpayers on the hook for an even bigger tab should a weak
economic recovery falter. Sound familiar?


Pinto says truly holding BofA responsible for all the mortgage mayhem
tied to its 2008 purchase of subprime lender Countrywide would likely
drive it into the arms of the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp., which
has enough problems to deal with. Though BofA would surely dispute
that analysis, it's easy enough to see where the feds don't want that


But how sharp is Freddie if all it can do
is squeeze a $1.28 billion payment out of a giant customer in exchange
for relinquishing fraud claims on $117 billion worth of outstanding
loans? The very best its million-dollar executives can do is claw back
a penny on each bubbly subprime dollar?

That seems pretty weak even given that this is Congress' favorite subsidy dispenser we're talking about.

Freddie can justify this decision to settle 'all outstanding and
potential' claims before any of the private-label putback lawsuits have
been resolved is beyond comprehension," says Rebel Cole, a real estate
and finance professor at DePaul University in Chicago. "This smells
to high heaven and they should be called out."

In "Bank Of America Just Admitted That Its Fannie And Freddie Settlement Was A Bailout", Business Insider's Joe Weisenthal writes:

Bank of America has basically confirmed that the critics are correct: It was the beneficiary of a bailout.

According to Bloomberg,
BofA's Jerry Dubrowski said: “Our agreements with Fannie Mae and
Freddie Mac are a necessary step toward the ultimate recovery of the
housing market.”

Get it? This was not about settling mortgage
putback exposure at the legal level. It was about helping the greater
good. It's the same too-big-to-fail logic all over again: What's good
for Bank of America is good for America.

As the Washington post notes:

is a gift” from the government to the bank, said Christopher Whalen
of Institutional Risk Analytics. “We’re all paying for this because
it will show up in the losses from Fannie and Freddie,” he said.

Congresswoman Waters said:

concerned that the settlement between Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac and
Bank of America over misrepresentations in the mortgages BofA
originated may amount to a backdoor bailout that props up the bank at
the expense of taxpayers. Given the strong repurchase rights built
into Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac’s contracts with banks, and the
recent court setback for Bank of America in similar litigation with a
private insurer, I’m fearful that this settlement may have been
both premature and a giveaway. The fact that Bank of America’s
stock surged after this deal was announced only serves to fuel my
suspicion that this settlement was merely a slap on the wrist that
sets a bad example for other negotiations in the future.

And see this, this and this.

Chris Whalen - who has been hailed by Nouriel Roubini as one of the
leading independent analysts of the U.S. banking system - points out
that Fannie and Freddie helped to create the epidemic of mortgage fraud
in the first place, and Whalen argues that Fannie and Freddie must be

invidious cowards who inhabit Washington are unwilling to
restructure the largest banks and GSEs. The reluctance comes partly
from what truths restructuring will reveal. As a result, these same
large zombie banks and the U.S. economy will continue to shrink under
the weight of bad debt, public and private. Remember that the
Dodd-Frank legislation was not so much about financial reform as
protecting the housing GSEs.

Because President Barack Obama
and the leaders of both political parties are unwilling to address the
housing crisis and the wasting effects on the largest banks, there
will be no growth and no net job creation in the U.S. for the next
several years. And because the Obama White House is content to ignore
the crisis facing millions of American homeowners, who are deep
underwater and will eventually default on their loans, the efforts by
the Fed to reflate the U.S. economy and particularly consumer spending
will be futile. As Alan Meltzer noted to Tom Keene on Bloomberg Radio
earlier this year: "This is not a monetary problem."


policy of the Fed and Treasury with respect to the large banks is
state socialism writ large, without even the pretense of a greater
public good.


The fraud and obfuscation now
underway in Washington to protect the TBTF banks and GSEs totals into
the trillions of dollars and rises to the level of treason.


in the case of the zombie banks, the GSEs and the MIs, the fraud is
being actively concealed by Congress, the White House and agencies of
the U.S. government led by the Federal Reserve Board. Is this not

But the bottom line is that money given to the big banks and government-sponsored entities like Fannie and Freddie does not trickle down to Main Street or the bulk of the American people. See this and this.

As Steve Keen points out,
money given to debtors (i.e. the American citizen) provides much more
bang for the buck than money given to the creditors (i.e. the big banks)
or GSEs.

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ebworthen's picture


I refied my house in April 2009.

I went through USAA Bank - they wouldn't tell me who was doing the mortgage ("basket of lenders" line).  The mortgage went to GMAC and I was pissed - bailout bank.

Lo and behod two months later USAA tells me my homeowners insurance was doubling but that with "special discounts" it would only go up 50%.  Half of that was due to the earthquake insurance rider (Utah) being doubled.

Why?  I asked.  "The government is setting this requirement for insurers" USAA told me.

Sounds like collusion between USAA, GMAC, and the Government to bleed me out.

I told them to shove it and that I wasn't going to pay to insure their risk (I've done enough of that already).


cranky-old-geezer's picture

I think I'll write an article titled "GW Brings Talk Radio To ZH  ...Where It's NOT Welcomed" 

This article is the latest in a series of emotion-stirring "evil government, evil Wall Street" articles from GW providing no current financial information of any actionable value. 

That's what talk radio does.  Stirs people's emotions over all the evils in the world while providing no current information of any actionable value, financial or otherwise. 

Limbaugh, Hannity, Oreilly, Ingram, Bruce, Savage, and the rest of the talk radio crowd (plus their internet webcast counterparts like Max, Mish, and Alex), are gossip-mongers essentially. Their modus is whip up people's emotions over all the evil around us that none of us can do anything about. It's quite successful for them, giving Rush a 25+ year run as the "King" of talk radio, followed by Hannity in the #2 spot, and the rest with similar long successful careers. 

GW does the very same thing in his blog just like many similar talk-radio-style bloggers and webcasters, whining about all the evils in government and Wall Street in ongoing gossip-fests, keeping emotions whipped up, steadily boosting their popularity among the sheeple, steadily boosting their hit counts (and ad revenue in some cases), which I have no problem with, whatever floats their respective boats.

What I DO have a problem with is GW bringing his talk-radio-style sheeple-oriented gossip-fest to ZH, where it doesn't belong, wasting ZH resources as his free advertising medium.  We don't see Max, Mish, Alex and similar bloggers plagiarizing ZH like that.

Why doesn't it belong here?  Because TD has defined the culture of ZH as a current actionable financial information site, emphasis on actionable. 

ZH welcomes articles from bloggers fitting that culture, like Turd Ferguson and 4ClosureFraud for example. 

We also don't see them plagiarizing the name of America's greatest Founder, a man of few words and many actions, the antithesis of GW. 

Plagiarism is a form of fraud (and theft).

cranky-old-geezer's picture

"What I DO have a problem with is GW bringing his talk-radio-style sheeple-oriented gossip-fest to ZH, where it doesn't belong, wasting ZH resources as his free advertising medium."

Ditto for Leo Kolivakis, posting meaningless emotional articles like "Bill Gates Worried About Public Pensions?"

Dyler Turden II Esq's picture

That may have been the latest in a series of very emotion-stirring "evil GW" posts, but it had little current information of actionable value.


cranky-old-geezer's picture

Like yours perhaps?

It's not posted as an article, merely as a comment.

Audacity17's picture

"I am not wed to either liberal or conservative ideologies, and am instead simply motivated to do whatever will work to stabilize the economy and help the most people."


Please define "stabilize".  Please define "help the most people".

curbyourrisk's picture

I am gonna say it one more time....  Have all the MBS investors PUT BACK the mortgages on the banks.  Then nationalize the banks.  Then take all mortgage paymnets made from January 1, 2005 thru December 31, 2010 and claw them back to the home owners.  Have them re-apply all mortgage payments directly against principal.  this will hurt the banks...who the fuck cares?  This will immediately put a floor inhousing price, flip millions of homes from under water to in the black, get people to STAY in their homes with NEW SKIN in the game.  This an incentive to get people paying their mortgages again.  Turn all existing mortgages into new 30 year fixed rate mortgages at 4.5%.


Problem solved....housing fixed.....get back to work America!

GreenSideUp's picture

Fine, but you're assuming they give a flying fuck about The People.

They don't.  Except for whatever they can steal from us.  

topcallingtroll's picture

Has it been two years already? I remember when the private mortgage market disappeared. I remember when bankruptcy law was perverted by the obama administration leaning on big creditors who had just accepted government money themselves. I was horrified.

It seems so long ago. Now socialism seems so normal.

nmewn's picture

The closest I can figger, millions of mirrors were broken sometime in 2008 so they wouldn't have to look at themselves. 

repo's picture

Control the mortgages and you control the underlying property.

America, the land of the home owner, will become a land of renters.

A land of sharecroppers and serfs in a Communist/Socialist system.

Eventually, because you are renting government property, government will be able to tell you with whom you can live and where.  Just like it does to those with Section 8 vouchers.

The end game ? Total control.

topcallingtroll's picture

Parasites with section 8 vouchers need to be sterilized anyway. I might support that kind of socialism.

repo's picture

You will get what you want soon enough since the a large percentage of homeowners will become renters.  The government will be the landlord.

The only issue is that the "Parasite with section 8 vouchers" won't be "those people".  It will everyday formerly middle class Americans.

They will be told where to live, with whom, and under what conditions.  Of course, family planning will be mandatory.  i.e. You now live in a three bedroom apartment for 4 people.  If you have another child, we will take away your voucher and you will be homeless.

Welcome to the NWO.


nmewn's picture

"Welcome to the NWO."

Centrally planned down to the last detail...sounds very statist.

Wonder what their "plans" are for the homeless.

repo's picture

Those who can not make the adjustment and who become a drain on society will be processed.


First in Fema camps and then eventually disposed of......humanely of course.

AN0NYM0US's picture

When Alex Jones and Forbes have the same message one begins to have concerns about the solid foundation of Western culture


Documents Reveal TSA Plan To Body-Scan Pedestrians, Train Passengers

I wonder why those who fly private are excempt

Dyler Turden II Esq's picture

GW: "If continuing to throw money at Fannie and Freddie would stabilize the economy, I might be for it - even though it is not free market capitalism."

"Free market capitalism" is a contradiction in terms. Capitalism is the enemy of free markets.

Mutualism: Free Market Anti-Capitalism
The Iron Fist Behind the Invisible Hand:
Corporate Capitalism As a State-Guaranteed System of Privilege

penisouraus erecti's picture

I'm hugry for Noodles, despite them being such meanies......


This is our future folks. Strap yourselves in.


Seasmoke's picture

still not too late to let the banks collapse

Xkwisetly Paneful's picture

But this is all a failure of Keynes and free market capitalism?

Fannie and Freddie had nothing to do with anything.

What an abortive joke the neo marxists dare call anything in the US free market with the federal government being the largest entity in every economic catagory.


The FED has spent enough since the depression began to pay off 100% of US residential mortgages completely.

New_Meat's picture


"Fannie and Freddie had nothing to do with anything."

... er ... can we say "Triple A Rating?"

as in laundering MTG securties no matter the source?

- Ned


ghostfaceinvestah's picture

If you really want to get pissed off, look at the new QRM rules - apparently they are going to exempt Fannie and Freddie loans as long as they are in conservatorship.  Fair enough, BUT:

this now creates a whole new cadre of community banks, mortgage insurers, mortgage bankers, etc who have a vested interest in keeping Fannie and Freddie alive.

Bottom line is, with the current crew in charge (and I am talking D and R), we are fucked, nothing at all is going to change, and we better start praying now that the next downturn (ETA within a few years) isn't the last, cause it might be.

trendybull459's picture

Excellent,we still can pray...but we need to pray hard enough

lincolnsteffens's picture

GW I agree totally that titles and credentials impress most people. When applying for a job that requires a certain understanding/knowledge you have to have certain degrees from higher education. Many non titled people may be able to do a job better because of long experience and  study but if you can't put easily recognized credentials in your resume you may never get an interview.

trendybull459's picture

Hello everyone here and i try to put thinks like that,you do not have to be PhD or BH or bitch or every to understand simple principe:the government  want you to be forever in chains."How?",-would you ask.Very simple,selling to you house on morgage is guarantied profitable enterprice,government immeduately get you "busy" with supporting their "cookies",they use very psyhological idea that people are usually the same and lazy,so,no one wish to make simple mathematik,during the morgage(i talking on average one and its apply to most countries-25-30years)purchase you are going to pay not less that 3 times value of your overpriced by market property,to thoose years add the money you will any how to pay for municipals,renovations,installations,electricity bills,buying some new staff,heating the house and probably buying the car(I think soon as no one will be able to buy the car-they will given it for free,still it will be much more profitaable if you do not have a car,because you will support oil and gas industries,outoindustry,insurance ompanies and police raports).So guys,how about this very vell constructed enterprice where government has you by bolls and you screaming and can do nothing and why?Because you are greedy,you want to have something what you probably hardly will buy (under current policies,but not if they not working,if thoose policies would not work you would buy easy in 15-20years house for 100k$ by cash,but now it cost you 400-500k$ )after 30-40years of hard work partly in cash and government do not want this 20-40years money for rent you pay will go into private hands,supporting the private sector of house owners,would you be mindfull(it adresses to all nations who failed recognise what kind of fool they were and big part making them fool was government policies to make leaving expensive,so,people tied to pay crazy high rents,artificially hiked by government throght the different "smart" taxation to sell to you idea housing ownership).And here we stand,government robbed the houses owners after pumping up prices to cash on them twice:high taxation since you are now much more rich-your 100k house went up to 500k$ because us and now you able to pay accordinly the municipal taxes,gas,heating,electricity-we made it feeling by you comfortable to think ou are rich(this by the way was experiment in all of the countries from Russia,EU and all world around,idea do not need patent),but second put is now you not able compensate yourself,because we took from you customers who would rent you stinky 100k$ (priced 500k) for 1000-1500$ per month,we sold him life long 30year rent-morgage,so,he can pay now to us(government) direct(we do not trust houses owners as they had to pay to us just 10% from your rental and not allways),but we are polite,because we rent the house for the 1500$ interest rates adjusted,we try our best to keep rates at minimum,but you know,nothing comes in this life for free,why we after all landed to you money to buy house?Please,pay just 5% interest and we are fine with it.

Dear friends,this is very ugly and painfull thing,but most people are stupid,they do not leave in 20-30years in own house,most of them bought into this crazy idea because most of them leaving by dreams,american dream of Tom Cruise and they die,never reaching the point because they forgot how hard they are father was working and how their fathers did not trusted banks and governments.I hope this very simple explanation will help in some point to understand,that after some period most morgage borrowers will fail,because govenmnets crazy in leaving without inflations,as result-some 50+% will be pushed out and taken their houses even after they paid twice the price of the house price.Remember,governments leaving from comissions,its a biggest broker dealer of your life,untill you re-install it and put new one,finally changing the game,usually it coming in blood baths,but its the way only how modern governments will give out power they so long had to build(its all incorporated,so useless to mentioned big businesses).So,now understand,person who took morgage is dependable and now he depend from politics and ready to give his vote for ever it is just not to pay high morgage rates-that is a trick,because when you do not have any property its difficult to make you controlled and you are free of choice for whom to vote...........this is the last thing which you still have,but wait,there wispers that governments prepair idear to buy from you votes giving as sample:health insurence benefits to thoose who will deliver their vote for 20years forward.......food for thinking

Don Birnam's picture

+1...Alas, the fading generation to which you refer -- those who distrusted both banks and stock jobbers; sacrificing at home in an effort to win the fight on distant shores...ultimately prevailing: the victors of the Second World War -- their ideals and mores have been completely lost upon their children. Conspicuous consumption's the game, and debt's the means to a hand at the game -- Three-Card Benny..."any number can play."

andybev01's picture

Those are the longest two sentences I have ever read in my life.

MachoMan's picture

And people wonder why the first year+ of college is spent in remedial courses...

twotraps's picture

so the govt rolls out a 50 yr special mortgage cause it can do whatever it wants?  people stay in their homes and make some payments, there always has to be the sacrificial lamb...chunks will get sold wholesale to rothchilds new commercial re firm.

max2205's picture

Gnma bitchiesss

jointhewave's picture

Watch the video STIMULUS + BAILOUTS + FRAUD = FINANCIAL TERRORISM at (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oRhqfPqZBpY).


If you are not already, you will be awake to the PONZI Scheme by the end of this lecture.

KickIce's picture

I'm telling you it's a land grab.  Coincidence that Rothschild just backed a commercial real estate investor?

GreenSideUp's picture

That's exactly what I think.  But I don't have a criminal enough mind to figure out why.

KickIce's picture

He who controls the land controls the food.

Plus it's bought with soon to be worthless fiat currency so they really don't care how much it costs.

MachoMan's picture

This is why ag land around here has been skyrocketing over the last ~5 years...  people are simply dumping the dollar and buying land.  While some pockets are financed, a significant/predominant portion of the land is fully paid and in private hands...  8 figure deals happen routinely...  the largest recent purchase was for ~30,000 acres (which is a pretty damn big chunk of rice/bean/cotton ground). 

At any rate, the government is not buying the farm land...  it's residential real estate they're backing...  the farmers will, in part, be our neo feudal lords.

repo's picture

So that they own all residential property and then can re-rent it to the former occupants.

Owners become renters.  Renters who will be dependent on government terms for rent and occupancy rules.

Renters are easier to control.  They have less wealth to fight for.

Like serfs and sharecroppers.

In the blink of an eye, all of America becomes like Section 8 voucher holders.

Government will tell you where to live, with whom, and under what conditions.

The plan is diabolical.

MachoMan's picture

It's not the government that is going to end up with the property bub...  it's the principal actors of the fraud...  this is what you buy with the spoils of the wealth gap.  The government is just another entity, like the fed, that is a line of defense for the principal actors...  when the coast is clear, they can take off the masks...  we're not that far from it now...  the government will start deleveraging and selling off assets to the highest bidder at the behind closed doors auction.

MachoMan's picture

who the fuck wants to grab up worthless land?  Arable land is generally out of their grasp through the mortgage purchase function...  so they're going to get a bunch of homes in need of maintenance/heating/etc...  and some vacant commercial properties?  Sounds like a good plan to me...

nmewn's picture

So, if we have bailed out FRE & FNM (unltimately a taxpayer liability) why aren't we saying we own our homes free and clear now?

Only half tongue in cheek ;-)

MachoMan's picture

Exactly.  At the very least, we should get principal reductions for the amount of taxes/borrowings that went to these idiots... 

nmewn's picture

I'm goin for the whole enchilada...LOL.

As co-owner of the company, I've spoken to the other owners in the enterprise and they are in complete agreement...we're Quit Claiming your house to you, stop by the office tomorrow and we'll have everything ready.

Wait a minute...lemme catch this phone call, I recognize the number, they said it would be just a quick conference call...

(Short musical interlude ensues with Boy George and Do You Really Want To Hurt Me)

That was the co-owners of GM & Chrysler...it's your lucky day, do you like red or blue?

Whoop...cell phone...hang on.

(Muffled, broken voices)

Hey!...you still there?...yeah, that was the Solar Panel Czar...guess what?...you ain't gonna believe this, but they got panels comin out their ears due to government subsidization and no one with a job to buy them and the cost of warehousing them is killing the bottom line...the senators are freakin out, they said dump em...I just need the square footage of your roof and we'll stick em in the mail...should be there sometime in January.

This crony capitalist/fascism thingy ain't so bad huh?...wonder who pays for all this stuff?...I feel like Senator Sandy Claws sometimes ;-)

twotraps's picture

Forgive me but is this just a silly game?  If BofA owned all the mortgages and it went pear shaped...they might go under as a company.  What will happen to the govt if they all default?  Nothing, silly.  The same thing will happen if the states don't get their budgets in order, the same thing if the Big Bond Roll starts to struggle....silly...the govt will buy more.   I have enough trouble comprehending the degree of stupidity and amounts of money involved let alone try to extrapolate into some possible outcomes.   So...20 yrs ago, what would we have said if we started a pretend discussion where a crash occurred and the govt came up with trillions of dollars to back-stop everything...........we would have laughed and gone on about how this and that would have happened!!  Well, the sky has not fallen and thats only encouraging them to keep the silly game going.   We could stop discussing what a freakin' sham it is and come up with ways to protect assets if it all caves in.

AR15AU's picture

Nice article...  thanks

Clint Liquor's picture

Mortgages backed by a Government that is insolvent. Now that's just piss your pants funny!

Don Smith's picture

I hate to criticize the article, GW, because I love your stuff, but 97% of US mortgages are NOT backed by the US.  That was of loans originated in 2009, not as of 2009.  There are billions and billions (is that a Brazilian?) in mortgages held on the books of banks and credit unions across the country.  The number may be as high as 70 or even 80%, but it's not 97.

My company is working on a private-sector replacement for Fannie/Freddie as we speak.  As audacious as it sounds, we think that we can disintermediate F/F by 2014.  Our initial marketplace will be precisley those portfolio loans.

newworldorder's picture

RE: Don Smith,

Thanks for posting. Glad to hear that non government actions are planned and hopefully executed to bring us back to a market based mortgage system.

To that end, why not write an article, send it to Tyler for publication. I for one would like to know how we are going to extricate ourselves from this mess, and over what period of time.

Call me sceptical, but I am willing to be convinced.

Don Smith's picture

We're not done with building the trading platform, but I hadn't considered writing an article.  Great idea.  Once we have the platform built and a clearinghouse agent or agents identified, I will absolutely keep my beloved community informed of the plans.  Until then, it's all vaporware as far as anyone needs to be concerned. 

You'll start to see, especially if you're looking in the credit union space where we will launch, mentions of "The New Lending", the "Loan Statement" and "Clarity in Loan Commerce."  Our investors (those buying the mortgages, not our company's investors) will be off-Wall Street by design.  Our CEO has worked on Wall Street in securitization for years, and has been aghast, since 2004, at the trajectory of our mortgage marketplace.  She's seen it all coming since then, and has been bringin together the players quietly for three years now to launch the post-Fannie play.  It takes time and a bit of stealth, as we know how vulnerable disruptive technologies can be if TPTB discover the vision before it's ready.

More to come.  Trading platform in 3Q2011.

George Washington's picture

Wolff said 97% of all U.S. mortgages were written or guaranteed by Uncle Sam.  He might be right or he might be wrong, but that's what he said.