Something called the Bipartisan Policy Center-basically a bunch of ex-Senators-has issued a report on what the government should do about the GSEs and, believe it or not, the report actually makes sense. Short version: wind down Fannie and Freddie and replace them with a federal guarantee program. Lest you object that the government has no business at all in housing finance, I’m with you in theory. In a real-world panic, though, the absence of a federal backstop in a market as large and important as residential mortgages would take a bad situation and make it infinitely worse. I rationalize my regrettable free-market deviationism by including the proviso that the government not be shy about charging originators through the nose for the coverage. There. I feel better. . . .