Fannie Mae, one of the federal government’s big mortgage lending outfits, stated today that it needs more taxpayer-funded bailouts to stay afloat. The mortgage giant, still recovering from its tailspin three years ago due to the real estate crash and subsequent seizure by the federal government, has reported three straight quarters of multi-billion dollar losses, and now needs $5.1 billion in stimulus to meet its loan obligations.
Since 2008, Fannie Mae has needed $104 billion in government stimulus to keep itself going, and has only been able to pay back a meager $14.7 billion of it. This is the same partially government-owned company that during the housing boom artificially held interest rates down, and made huge, low-interest loans to customers who had no business getting them. They also participated in the same credit-default swaps that triggered one of the worst economic downturns in a century, and became completely nationalized because of it, leaving taxpayers to foot the bill for its bad business practices.
As the old saying goes, if it moves, tax it; if it’s dead, nationalize it. Fannie is clearly dead, yet we still have to give it money to continue going about its business of making housing loans in a market that is getting worse by the day.Published in