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Fannie, Freddie say bailout is not imminent

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Federal regulators and officials at Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac reiterated Friday that the companies are adequately capitalized and that a government bailout is not imminent, but stockholders in the government-chartered, publicly traded companies were not entirely reassured. Continuing a monthslong slide that intensified Monday, Fannie Mae shares fell 22 percent Friday and Freddie Mac was off more than 3 percent. Investors are worried losses at Fannie and Freddie could force the companies to issue more common stock to raise additional capital. If the companies are unable to raise capital and the government steps in to place the companies in a conservatorship, their shares would be worthless. The New York Times today reported that the Bush administration is considering a plan to place one or both companies in conservatorship if their financial problems worsen -- echoing similar media reports Thursday. President Bush acknowledged meeting with Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson ...