Paddy Hirsch is a Senior Editor at Marketplace. He is the author of the book Man vs Markets, Economics Explained, Pure and Simple, and he is the creator and host of Marketplace Whiteboard, a video explainer of financial and economic terms.

Hirsch joined Marketplace in 2007, just as the credit crunch that preceded the 2008 financial crisis began to take hold.  As editor of the New York Bureau and the entrepreneurship desk, he spearheaded Marketplace’s financial markets coverage throughout the crisis and as the economy fell into recession. He was awarded a Knight Fellowship at Stanford University in 2010, and he returned to Marketplace in July of 2011, when he was appointed Senior Producer of Marketplace Money. He published his first book, Man vs Markets, in August 2012.

Hirsch got his start in journalism with an internship at the BBC in Glasgow, Scotland. He became a field producer for CNBC in Hong Kong and later was a consultant to the Open Broadcast Network in Bosnia. He has been an editor for Direct Capital Markets, Institutional Investor Newsletters, Standard & Poor’s, and the Vietnam Economic Times. Prior to becoming a journalist, he served as an officer in the Royal Marines.

Hirsch attended Campbell College in Belfast and received a bachelor’s degree in French and International Studies from the University of Warwick. He is a Knight Fellow and was a Webby honoree in 2009.

 

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Features by Paddy Hirsch

The down-low on Fannie and Freddie

As we reported today about President Obama's speech in Phoenix on the housing market, and specifically on Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, we realized there's a lot of conflicting information out there about how much of the mortgage market Fannie and Freddie are actually responsible for.

Some say just 50 percent; others say as much as 90 percent.

The New York Times quoted an Obama Administration official saying , "the government guarantees more than 80 percent of all mortgages through Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac and F.H.A."

So what's going on here?

I got a clear answer from Edward J. Pinto of the American Enterprise Institute. Pinto used to work as the chief credit officer  at Fannie Mae, and he keeps a close eye on his former employer. He says people often conflate Fannie and Freddie with other government agencies, such as the Federal Housing Administration, the Department of Veterans Affairs and the Department of Agriculture.

Pinto says if you look at the agencies separately, of all the mortgages outstanding in the market right now, Fannie and Freddie are responsible for about 55 percent, other government agencies are responsible for about 15 percent, and the private label market is responsible for the remainder. 

Pretty simple, math, it seems. (Thanks, Ed!)

SAC insider trading charges, explained

The criminal indictment of SAC Capital is all about the misuse of material of non-public information ... otherwise known as insider trading.

Fabrice Tourre's trial: The fabulous translation

A former Goldman Sachs trader known as "Fabulous Fab" has been found liable in a mortgage securities fraud case. During the case, a judge asked to ban jargon. But because bankers aren't able to resist -- and for your own knowledge -- here's a primer to help.
Posted In: Fabrice Tourre, Goldman Sachs, Lloyd Blankfein

So what is LIBOR, exactly?

The London Interbank Offered Rate, explained.
Posted In: LIBOR, libor scandal

Financial Feud: Buy iPhone outright vs. Make monthly payments

Have your kids ever asked you for something you said they'd have to earn instead? For one listener and her teenage son, it was an iPhone. Hear what our experts have to say about their financial feud.
Posted In: smartphones, iPhone, allowance

How to manage retirement plans as they pile up

In 21st century America, jobs for life are rare. For those lucky enough to have jobs with retirement plans, with the many jobs comes many retirement plans, which all send quarterly statements that need tracking.
Posted In: IRA, 401k, Retirement, retirement savings

You need to care about China's credit crunch: Here's why

China's tightening up on its lenders, and that might slow the country down a big. That shouldn't be too much a problem for the rest of us, right?
Posted In: China, Banks, credit crunch

Kids' crazy sports costs offer tax perks

A listener responds to our conversation about expensive sports programs for kids.
Posted In: Taxes, consumed, sustainability

Bernanke's tape: Who's afraid of rising rates?

Fed chair Ben Bernanke says rising interest rates are a good thing. But good for whom, exactly?
Posted In: QE2, Bernanke, taper

ICYMI: From Consumed to PRISM, the best stories you missed

Marketplace's senior producer of personal finance on the stories you might have missed last week.
Posted In: ICYMI

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