Friday, July 18, 2008

Freddie Mac to raise $10 billion

So much for the government bailout?

"Mortgage giant Freddie Mac -- emboldened by emergency regulatory actions that have triggered a two-day rebound in its battered stock -- is considering raising capital by selling as much as $10 billion in new shares to investors, according to people familiar with the matter.

The high-stakes maneuver would have the potential to avoid a full-blown government rescue for Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae, twin keystones of the U.S. housing market. The publicly traded, government-sponsored companies own or guarantee about $5.2 trillion of home mortgages, or nearly half the total outstanding, and are at the center of government efforts to prop up the sagging housing market....

For instance, if loans or investments are made with government money, lawmakers are weighing provisions to prevent the two companies from paying dividends to shareholders or issuing big paychecks to their management, says Rep. Barney Frank (D., Mass.), chairman of the House Financial Services Committee."

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