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Best columns: Bailout bets, Salary spies
It seems to be “a question of when, not if,” the government bails out Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae, says Ben Levisohn in BusinessWeek.com. If you’ve ever longed to be “a fly on the wall of a prospective e
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he future of Fannie and Freddie

“The market’s pummeling of Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae” has “eased up a bit,” says Ben Levisohn in BusinessWeek.com, but investors still seem to be betting that “it’s a question of when, not if,” the government bails out the two mortgage giants. The government’s bailout authority was supposed to shore up Fannie and Freddie, but it had the opposite effect. So now, watching their finances “has become the financial world’s version of the Olympics—no one can take their eyes off it.” This is part rubbernecking, but also partly practical. If the lenders’ preferred equity is wiped out, banks will take another big hit, and there will be “little chance for a housing recovery.” And if there’s no housing recovery, there’s no credit or financial market recovery.

A hiring interview helping hand

If you’ve ever longed to be “a fly on the wall of a prospective employer’s office,” says Jessica Anderson in Kiplinger’s, you now have your chance—virtually, anyways. The new Web site Glassdoor-dot-com collects salary information on specific firms, giving you “a firsthand peek at companies and how well they pay.” The information comes from employees, who submit it anonymously through a detailed, vetted form, with pains taken “to ensure data is on the level.” Since its launch in June, it has compiled reviews or salary data for more than 11,000 firms, mostly in tech, banking, and consulting. But it’s pursuing other industries.

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