Capital Markets

Freddie Dips into Government Stash

A staggering quarterly loss pushes the company to request $13.8 billion of the $100 billion in emergency funds Treasury committed in September.
Stephen TaubNovember 14, 2008

After posting a $25.3 billion loss for the quarter ended September 30, Freddie Mac is looking to tap into the $100 billion the federal government set aside to prop up the company after taking it over two months ago.

The embattled mortgage giant has asked the Treasury Department for $13.8 billion, in exchange for which Treasury will receive preferred shares. That is the amount of the company stockholders’ equity deficit as of the end of the quarter. Freddie said it expects to receive the funds by November 29.

Freddie cited a dramatic deterioration in market conditions during the third quarter, including “declining home prices, increasing unemployment, a significant decline in consumer spending and a considerable tightening of both consumer and business credit.”

The $13.8 billion will be the first major investment of taxpayer cash during the current crisis into either Freddie Mac or Fannie Mae, which the government also took over in September with a commitment of $100 billion in emergency funds.

Fannie Mae said last week that it may need funds at year-end, and warned that $100 billion may not be enough.

Paul Miller, an analyst at Friedman, Billings, Ramsey Group in Arlington, Virginia, told Bloomberg News: “You could very well get losses north of $100 billion on both of these companies.”

4 Powerful Communication Strategies for Your Next Board Meeting