These to companies are two of the larges companies that operate here in the US, and if they went down it would be a huge blow to our financial system, so yes it was very important that the US give them some money to get back up on their feet.
The bailouts given to Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac were absolutely necessary to save the companies at that point in time. Without the bailouts, it is quite possible our economy would be much worse today. The bailout may have been somewhat controversial. But the bailouts were very necessary at the time.
The bailouts worked out nicely for the shareholders of banks
like JP Morgan Chase and Citibank. No capitalists seem to have been harmed by the
Great Recession, and perhaps taxpayers have a right to feel resentment about
that. But Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac are different. These are quasi-governmental
entities. Their purpose is to add liquidity to the home loan market, so it is
easier for homebuyers to get mortgages. When housing crashed, liquidity (the
ability to buy and sell mortgages in this case) nearly vanished. It would have
been a fatal error to let Fannie and Freddie go down.
No, it was not right that the United States gave Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac a bail out, because they should not even exist. The government should not be in the personal mortgage business. This is a private function, and no government has any business in the loan industry, especially the federal government. If they can't even do their job efficiently enough to stay in business, they should go under.
It was not right that United States gave Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac a bail out. Both Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac have a very checkered history. The government should be looking out for the American citizens and not backing companies and helping them profit from all the turmoil that they caused.