Over at CEI's Open Market Blog, John Berlau argues that the announcement that control of Fannie Mae/Freddie Mac will be taken over by the US government doesn't matter because the companies have always been controlled by the state even if they were technically privately owned.
But is that the case - that it doesn't matter if it's always, technically, been that way, even if it wasn't official? I don't think so. Making it official is both important and upsetting.
The nominal private ownership of these companies, in spite of their extremely close ties with the government, was important because the US typically doesn't think of the housing market as something that needs to be controlled by government, and hasn't used government owned and controlled companies to control markets. With the nationalization (basically) of these companies, the US government has implicitly sanctioned government control of a very important part of the market.
While I wouldn't go so far as to say that the US is now more communist than China, it's still significant, and it's certainly not good.