A Brief Guide To Fixing Finance: The Brookings Financial Restructuring Project

Americans reading the newspapers or watching the television coverage of the tumult in our stock markets and financial institutions over the past few weeks rightly wonder: what is going on? How can seemingly once solid rocks of American finance – indeed American capitalism – like Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac (the twin engines of mortgage finance), Merrill Lynch (the original stock market “bull”), and AIG (the nation’s largest insurer) – either be forced to merge with other institutions or be forced into government hands—at least temporarily?