Editor's note: Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac have played a vital role in the function of the mortgage market. Their future is now the subject of congressional debate, as this article details. Inman News has launched an editorial project, the Roadmap to Recovery, that focuses on the path that will lead the economy and housing market out of this crisis. Click here to find out more and to participate in this project. It's a debate that could rage for years: Were Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac catalysts for the housing meltdown and financial crisis, or victims of a boom-bust cycle they couldn't have foreseen? The prevailing views on the topic could help decide whether Fannie and Freddie -- placed into government conservatorship in September -- will be rehabilitated or allowed to go the way of the dinosaur. Republican presidential candidate Sen. John McCain is among those who see Fannie and Freddie as catalysts -- "the match that started this forest fire." Rep. Henry Waxman, ...
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