Washington Post: Fannie, Freddie bailout could double, regulator says

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Fannie, Freddie bailout could double, regulator says
By Zachary A. Goldfarb

Washington Post Staff Writer
Thursday, October 21, 2010; 10:09 AM

The federal bailout for Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac could more than double in size during the next three years, according to projections from the companies' federal regulator.

Fannie and Freddie, the federally-controlled mortgage finance giants, will likely need at least another $73 billion and perhaps as much $215 billion from taxpayers in the next three years to meet their financial obligations, the Federal Housing Finance Agency said.

The growing taxpayer infusions will cover losses Fannie and Freddie suffer on home loans, as well as payments the companies must make to the U.S. Treasury in exchange for a federal guarantee to provide cash to keep the companies solvent.

In fact, over time, the majority of funds flowing to Fannie and Freddie from taxpayers will go to pay that dividend.

To date, the Treasury has already injected $148 billion into Fannie and Freddie. Under the worst-case scenario, in which the country enters a second recession, the total infusion would equal $363 billion in three years.

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