Mortgage Financiers Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae will pay the US Treasury $39 billion in dividends. Freddie will give $30.4 billion and Fannie will pay $8.6 billion, after both had strong Q3 earnings. The payments will bring the two “quasi-public” companies closer to their public repayment breakeven point after receiving a massive post housing bubble bust cash infusion.
After these two payments will be made, both Mac and Mae will have given the government $185.2 billion back, relative to the $187.4 billion that they were given in their time of need. Fannie and Freddie are under U.S. “conservatorship” as the Treasury “maintains control through its preferred stock in both companies,” according to Yahoo News.
The debate is ongoing in Congress on how exactly to restructure the firms once they are in the black and profitable again. There are calls for the businesses to shrink and wind down, or even to “get the government out of the mortgage finance business.”
Both Freddie and Fannie have seen good times with the rebounding housing market, as healthier home prices and fewer foreclosures require a smaller sinking fund for loan-losses.
Freddie reported a net income this quarter of 30.5 billion up from $2.9 billion last year. Fannie reported that it was $8.7 billion up from $1.8 billion last year. Both companies have positive outlooks for the future.
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