Monday, March 1, 2010

The Fannie Mae monster needs to burn more cash

OK, hang on to your hat's, dear friends. The vacuum cleaner known as Fannie Mae is about to swallow gobs of taxpayer dollars again---$15 billion worth of it:

Fannie Mae needs another $15.3 billion in federal assistance, bringing its total to more than $75 billion. And worse, the mortgage finance company warned that its losses will continue this year.

The rescue of District-based Fannie Mae and sister company Freddie Mac is turning out to be one of the most expensive after-effects of the financial meltdown. The new request means the total bill for the duo will top $126 billion.

And the pain isn't over. Fannie warned Friday that it will need even more money from the Treasury, as unemployment remains high and millions of Americans lose their homes through foreclosure.

Fannie Mae reported Friday that it lost $74.4 billion, or $13.11 a share, last year, including $2.5 billion in dividends paid to the government. That compares with a loss of $59.8 billion, or $24.04 a share, a year earlier.

Fannie Mae, which was seized by federal regulators in September 2008, has racked up losses totaling $136.8 billion over the past three years.

The WaPo article fails to mention that Fannie Mae debt is NOT added to the federal budget. So it is essentially "off the books." Anyone that is following the financial crisis in Greece knows how dangerous and dishonest it is to have massive government debt hidden away from public view.

BTW, remember how Barney Frank defended Fannie Mae? Now, he wants to eliminate Fannie and Freddie. Incredible.

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