Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan's remarks last Monday - to the effect that government support for Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac may be causing investors to underestimate the risk of dealing with both GSEs' securities - did not cause much of a stir in the agency and mortgage-backed markets.

However, it brought to light once again the ever-present debate about the power that these two mortgage giants hold: is it too much or just right to carry out their government-given mission?

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