Uncle Sam's morphine drip pays off for Fannie.
Fed mouthpiece Jon Hilsenrath on Fannie's massive debt to taxpayers despite record profits. This is the first profit in 6 years for Fannie, which lost $16.5 billion last year alone, and who along with Freddie has borrowed $187 billion from taxpayers since 2008.
So far, Fannie has paid back $36 billion of the $116 billion on its solo tab.
Biggest Quarter in Fannie's History
(Reuters) - Mortgage finance company Fannie Mae posted a record $7.6 billion in quarterly earnings, but it refrained from booking a tax-related gain that would have allowed the bailed-out company to repay as much as $59 billion to the government.
The U.S.-controlled company said it expects to be profitable in the future. Profits would allow it to record gains on billions of dollars worth of assets it had written down. That would help Fannie Mae repay roughly $117 billion it owes the U.S. Treasury for a taxpayer rescue during the financial crisis.
But Fannie Mae executives told reporters on a conference call that the company concluded it could not be sure enough of the timing of future profits to record that gain. If Fannie Mae had taken the gain, it would have reduced the company's eligibility to borrow cheaply from the Treasury. This could have forced the company to pay more to borrow in the market.
This is the better clip:
Fannie earnings could affect housing reform.
The Obama administration is engaged in a broad push to make more home loans available to people with weaker credit, an effort that officials say will help power the economic recovery but that skeptics say could open the door to the risky lending that caused the housing crash in the first place.