Regulators ready to cut Freddie Mac more slack

Mortgage financier must raise $5.5 billion to counter losses

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Federal regulators say they’ll give Freddie Mac more room to purchase and guarantee mortgages if the company follows through on a plan to raise billions to counter its losses.

Freddie Mac narrowed its first-quarter net loss to $151 million — down from $2.5 billion in the fourth quarter of 2007 — but company officials said they still need to raise $5.5 billion in new capital.