BFFs: A Look Through the Fannie Maze

 Posted by on February 9, 2012
Feb 092012
 

In 2008, two institutions with profoundly unfortunate names were taken over by the federal government.  Known as Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, they owned or guaranteed half of the entire U.S. mortgage market at the time and their subsequent rescue represented “one of the most sweeping government interventions in private financial markets”… “in decades”.

Who were the captains of this Titanic?  Who let them behind the wheel?  Though not the most glamorous of posts, as government-sponsored enterprises, they were unsurprisingly stocked with people who were in the government.  Below we have a venn diagram (one from a larger set created by geke.us) showing a selection of people from both sides of the fence equation.

(click for venn diagram collection)

That’s the tip of the iceberg though.  Let’s see who on this list comes up in the NNDB Mapper, a very fun tool for mapping the links between people, companies and events ranging from Rihanna to the Funeral of Richard Nixon.

(click for NNDB interactive version)

Okay, we got 6 out of 13.  Above we have the connections they share.  Now let’s look at everyone associated with Fannie Mae.

(click for NNDB interactive version)

Mainly board members and CEOs.  But what happens if we blow out all of their nodes?

(click for NNDB interactive version)

We get a picture.  A picture of the myriad influences and connections that led to a spectacular failure.

The End.

[Venn diagram via Infoplasm]

BFFs: Bill Gates & Warren Buffett

 Posted by on April 26, 2011
Apr 262011
 

There are only two people on Earth with more money than Warren Buffett and for some reason he decided to give most of his wealth to one of them.

BFF_Gates_Buffett

While The Giving Pledge is a wonderful, wonderful thing, it’s still a little weird to imagine all these people didn’t know what to do with their fortunes until someone suggested just giving them away.  When imagination is applied to business, it is apparently leased rather than owned.

If Ape Con Myth could ask the Oracle of Omaha one question it’d be, “What was it about Windows that made you think Bill Gates should be calling the shots?”  But that’s exactly the kind of question you’d expect from an organization selling puzzle pieces to get by.

[Map made at NNDB]