NOTE: Under pressure from Congress to make home loans available to more and more U.S. citizens, the GSE's in 1998 thru 2006 lowered their former credit and documentation standards to what we now know were unsustainable levels. The resulting securities and their derivatives found their way into every segment of the banking and financial market. The disastrous effects of Congress' good intentions gone awry began in late 2006 when borrowers began defaulting on these loans. That was the beginning of the so-called mortgage melt-down. In 2008 the federal government began pumping billions of dollars into the GSEs to help keep them solvent. In 2008 the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) was also created to directly and more tightly regulate Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, and the 12 Federal Home Loan banks.