Freddie Mac Needs $13.8 Billion More From Government

14 11 2008


Freddie Mac’s net worth — the value of its assets minus the value of its liabilities — fell to negative $13.8 billion at the end of September, which forced the company to ask for government help.

Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, which own or guarantee around half of the $11.5 trillion in outstanding home loan debt, operate in a conservatorship that enables the government to inject up to $100 billion in each company in exchange for ownership stakes of almost 80 percent. They also are facing a federal grand jury investigation into their accounting practices.

Mortgage finance company Freddie Mac is asking the government for $13.8 billion in aid after posting a $25.3 billion third-quarter loss and expects to receive the funding by the end of the month.

The McLean, Va.-based company, seized by federal regulators more than two months ago, posted a loss Friday of $19.44 per share for the third quarter, due to a $14.3 billion charge to reduce the value of tax assets, $9.1 billion in writedowns on mortgage securities, and $6 billion in credit losses due to soaring mortgage delinquency rates and foreclosures.

The results compare with a loss of $1.2 billion, or $2.07 a share, in the year-ago period. Analysts were looking for a loss of 89 cents per share for the latest quarter, according to Thomson Reuters.

The results come days after sibling company Fannie Mae on Monday posted $29 billion loss in the third quarter as it took a massive tax-related charge.

While Fannie Mae said it may have to tap the government’s for help in the coming months, it has not yet done so.

Both Fannie and Freddie have changed their accounting for their deferred-tax assets, which can emerge from operating losses, and can be used to reduce future tax expenses. Companies must be able to show they will be profitable if they intend to use the tax assets for earnings in later periods.




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