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with Kai Ryssdal

Marketplace for Tuesday, April 2, 2013

After losing $166 billion in four years, Fannie Mae just reported a $17 billion profit for 2012 -- a record. Some supporters are saying it's a real improvement for the behemoth mortage lender; critics say it is just a sign of how widely-exposed the agency is to housing market swings. Plus, as Washington continues to review differing budgets and budget priorities, one key overriding concern is how much to spend on the social safety net. Most of us would say we know what the phrase 'safety net' means -- but few of us know where the name came from. To find out requires a search for who came up with the term in the first place. (Hint: It wasn't FDR.)

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Kai Ryssdal

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