listening to planet money's podcast and even though mccain is touting the fault of obama and freddie and fannie this financial downturn did NOT start with them. charles duhigg, a reporter from the NY times that has been covering the story said. the blame can be passed around to many including wall street, international investors, brokers and banks who created and popularized sub prime mortgages. fannie and freddie got into the game much later after they started to loose their market share to other firms that were accepting these loans because wall street was buying any they could find. so they did by riskier and riskier loans, as did all the parties involved. so he said although they weren't the biggest part of the problem they helped fan the fire.
also john mccain also saying he was trying so hard for regulation of fannie and freddie, and although he did co-sponser the bill, he jumped on to it late and the bill itself may not have prevented this from happening anyway. it would have cut the amount of loans that fannie and freddie could by but it was up to the regulator that was in charge, so he might not have changed the pace and type of loans they were buying. there is blame for democrats too who did urge f&f to buy up loans because they thought it would help strengthen the economy.
and we all know that although barack obama was given a lot of funds from f&f, john mccain's top advisor's firm was still recieving funds from them up until just 2 months ago, so they are both in the same boat on that issue.