Industry NewsMortgage

Regulators say Fannie, Freddie adequately capitalized

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Mortgage financer Freddie Mac briefly fell short of its minimum capital requirements last fall, but quickly came back into compliance by issuing $6 billion in preferred stock in December, federal regulators said today. Freddie Mac and its sister company, Fannie Mae, managed to build capital surpluses well above the stricter requirements put in place following accounting and management scandals that forced both companies to restate several years of earnings. Under consent orders put in place in 2004, the government-sponsored enterprises (GSEs) are required to keep 30 percent more capital on hand than previously mandated. According to the Office of Federal Housing Enterprise Oversight, at the end of 2007 Fannie Mae had $45.4 billion in core capital, or 9.3 percent more than the $41.5 billion required under the consent order. Freddie Mac's $37.9 billion in core capital gave it an even more comfortable 10 percent cushion above its $34.4 billion OFHEO-directed capital requ...