tisdag 11 maj 2010

Fannie Mae Needs $8.4 Billion More

Fannie Mae asked the U.S. government for an additional $8.4 billion in aid after posting an $11.5 billion net loss for the first quarter, the latest sign that the bailout of the mortgage investor and its main rival, Freddie Mac, is likely to be the most expensive legacy of the U.S. housing-market bust.

The company has now racked up losses of nearly $145 billion, or nearly double its profits for the previous 35 years. While many of the nation's biggest banks have repaid their government loans and some are back to racking up big profits, Fannie and Freddie are still suffering from the housing-market crisis.

In recent weeks, the Treasury pointed out how private-sector banks, insurers and even auto makers have repaid loans under the Troubled Asset Relief Program. But red ink continues to gush from Fannie and Freddie because of their huge exposure to home loans.

"Everyone's trying to sweep it under the rug, but there's a very large embedded loss that hasn't been fully realized yet," says Kenneth Rosen, chairman of the Fisher Center for Real Estate and Urban Economics at the University of California, Berkeley. "Someone's going to have to write a check, and it's very large."


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