The Bailout Continues

Fannie Mae—you already forgot all about it, didn’t you?—well, it just reared its ugly head again with its Q2 earnings report. Here is the most important number:

$5.1 billion in new bailout money from the U.S. Treasury—the eleventh quarter in a row it has received bailout money. That brings the total bailout money it received so far to $104.8 billion, with no end in sight.

An ugly convoluted mess.

It had another huge loss, $5.2 billion attributable to common shareholders (includes $2.3 billion in dividend payments to the U.S. Treasury, which owns almost the entire outfit).

But it isn’t the only money-sucking Government Sponsored Enterprise (GSE). Freddie Mac will report similar numbers next week.

The report quotes Michael J. Williams, CEO: “We remain the largest source of liquidity for the U.S. mortgage market….”

No doubt. But why? Why remain.

Congress should finally dry up this pestilential GSE quagmire—now that the budget deficit suddenly seems to matter—and allow the housing market to become a private-sector activity. Sure, it might sink a bit more, inflated as it still is, but after a decade or two, it will reach solid ground. And taxpayers would be off the hook.

Enjoy reading WOLF STREET and want to support it? You can donate. I appreciate it immensely. Click on the beer and iced-tea mug to find out how:

Would you like to be notified via email when WOLF STREET publishes a new article? Sign up here.