By Lester Holt, NBC News anchor
It hasn't escaped the notice of those of us on the weekend crew that lately, major financial stories have broken on Sundays. It was a Sunday in March when the Federal Reserve announced it was extending a multibillion-dollar credit line to aid a takeover of Bear Stearns. On another Sunday last July, the Treasury Department announced it was taking emergency steps to boost confidence in the two mortgage giants Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. Today, it has happened again, with the government announcing it is taking over Freddie and Fannie.
Of course the Sunday timing of these events is no coincidence. CNBC's Steve Liesman, who will join us on the Nightly News tonight, explains that it's all about making things happen on a down day for Wall Street, before Asian markets open. The government's move has a far reaching impact on anyone who owns, or is trying to buy or sell a home. It also puts American taxpayers on the hook for potentially billions of dollars, as the U.S. assumes substantial exposure to the rocky home mortgage landscape. We'll walk you through all of it on tonight's program.