Saturday, July 12, 2008

Freddie and Fannie - Helping Them Out

The market headed lower Friday on concerns that U.S. government chartered companies Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae may need to shore up their financials. Together the pair hold or guarantee more than $5 trillion worth of mortgages. That's roughly half of the $9.5 trillion debt of the United States.

There were reports that said The Fed would allow either or both companies access to The Fed's discount window. This immediately gave the entire market a boost into positive territory before falling back into negative territory, but still far from the largest losses of the day.

The Dow was briefly under 11,000 for the first time in two years, but the market finished at 11,100.

According to reports from the AP, Senate Banking Committee chairman Christopher Dodd of Connecticut raised the prospect that the companies could be given access to emergency Federal Reserve lending.

Dodd, who spoke Friday to Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke and Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson, said the two are "looking at various options" for propping up the firms if they ultimately need help. Those include giving them access to the Fed's emergency lending "discount window," Dodd said.

The Fed, Congress, and Bush administration all look to be making sure that both of these firms and the mortgage industry are given help as needed.

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