Fannie Mae

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Fannie Mae
Founded 1938
Products Mortgage securitization
Twitter @FannieMae

Fannie Mae is the common name (as a spoken version of the acronym) for the Federal National Mortgage Association. It is a stockholder-owned corporation chartered by Congress in 1968 as a government sponsored enterprise (GSE), but founded in 1938 during the Great Depression. Its purpose is to provide liquidity and stability to the U.S. housing and mortgage markets by buying and securitizing mortgages. [1]

On Aug. 8, 2011 Standard & Poor's (S&P) downgraded the credit ratings of Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac and several other U.S. government entities, reflecting their dependence on federal support.[2]


Founded in 1938 as part of Roosevelt's New Deal program, it was converted into a private corporation in 1968.

Both Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac were seized by the U.S. government on Sept. 7, 2008, after the mortgage meltdown and resulting financial crisis had resulted in their portfolios holding trillions of dollars of toxic assets, and policymakers decided they needed restructuring. [3]

On June 17 of 2010, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac were delisted from the New York Stock Exchange.[4]

The government seized Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, which together back roughly half of all outstanding U.S. mortgages, in September 2008 as losses from failing home loans threatened the agencies' solvency. Fannie Mae has borrowed more than $116 billion from the government and paid almost $20 billion in the form of dividends.[5]

Fannie Mae in February of 2012 said it would request $4.6 billion more in government aid after posting a $2.41 billion fourth-quarter loss.[6]

On October 31, 2013, Fannie Mae filed a lawsuit against nine of the world's largest banks, accusing them of colluding to manipulate the Libor, or the London Interbank Offered Rate. Fannie Mae filed to recover $800 million for damages.[7] The Libor underpins hundreds of trillions of dollars of transactions around the world, and is used to set interest rates on such things as credit cards, student loans and mortgages. In the lawsuit, Fannie said the false representations of the Libor caused it to lose money on swaps, mortgages, mortgage securities and other transactions.