Cost to Fix Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac May Reach $1 Trillion

The cost to fix Fannie Mae (NYSE: FNM ) and Freddie Mac (NYSE: FRE ), the government-backed mortgage companies that bought or guaranteed three-quarters of all U.S. home loans last year, could run as high as $1 trillion, according to a report by Bloomberg News released yesterday (Tuesday). The minimum amount required to keep them afloat will be $160 billion, or $15 billion more than they have already drawn from an unlimited line of government credit granted to keep the home mortgage market functioning. That exceeds the amount already spent on bailouts for American International Group Inc. (NYSE: AIG ), General Motors Co. or Citigroup Inc. (NYSE: C ). " It is the mother of all bailouts ," Edward Pinto, a former chief credit officer at Fannie Mae, who is now a consultant to the mortgage-finance industry told Bloomberg. Fannie and Freddie own or guarantee 53% of the nation's $10.7 trillion in residential mortgages, according to a June 10 Federal Reserve report. Their books are loaded with millions of bad loans, and delinquencies are on the rise.
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