The big banks advise cities about whether privatization is a wise choice. They also control the ability of states and cities to access the market for their financing needs.
Fixing Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac in isolation, without looking at the big picture, would be short-sighted.
Privatization of assets that most of us consider public goods - like airports and highways - has a long, often-uncontroversial history.
Home ownership was the fig leaf for the rise in subprime lending. But that was really about cash-out refinancings, not buying homes.
No city embraced privatization more eagerly than Chicago, where I live.
Proponents of privatization argued that cities and states needed private capital to fund all the upgrades that our decaying infrastructure so desperately needed.