Industry News

Fannie, Freddie government perks worth billions

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Government sponsorship of Freddie Mac, Fannie Mae and the Federal Home Loan Banks was worth about $23 billion to those entities in 2003, and more than a third of that amount wasn't passed through to borrowers, according to a new report from the Congressional Budget Office. The $23 billion figure represents an almost 70 percent increase in the perceived federal subsidy those entities received in 2000, which CBO reported in an earlier study. The jump resulted from the corporations' rapid expansion in 2001. Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac retained about $6.3 billion of the perceived subsidy they received last year, and the FHLBs retained about $3.2 billion. Approximately $13.6 billion was passed onto borrowers. The combined figure for Freddie and Fannie could be higher because it doesn't include the value of Freddie's state and local income tax exemptions, which couldn't be ascertained without the corporation's financial statements. The two corporations securitize and either resell or own a ...