WASHINGTON (AP) -- Freddie Mac is asking for $10.6 billion in additional federal aid after posting a big loss in the first three months of the year. It's another sign that the taxpayer bill for stabilizing the housing market will keep mounting.A few very easy conclusions:
The McLean, Va.-based mortgage finance company has been effectively owned by the government after nearly collapsing in September 2008. The new request will bring the total tab for rescuing Freddie Mac to $61.3 billion.
Freddie Mac said Wednesday it lost $8 billion, or $2.45 a share, in the January-March period. That takes into account $1.3 billion in dividends paid to the Treasury Department. It compares with a loss of $10.4 billion, or $3.18 a share, in the first quarter last year.
The company, however, cautioned that new accounting standards make it difficult to compare the most recent quarter with the year-ago period. In the first quarter of this year, Freddie Mac was forced to bring $1.5 trillion in assets and liabilities onto its balance sheet, causing the company's net worth to plunge by $11.7 billion.
- Even at $1.40, Freddie Mac's share price seems highly overvalued (market cap of close to $1 billion)
- $1.5 trillion off-balance sheet. Isn't that fraud?
- We're far from done with the housing bust and the banking collapse that will come with it
- Greece is tiny compared to Freddie and Fannie. Freddie's balance sheet is many times Greece's GDP (about $300 billion)
- I'm looking forward Fannie Mae quarterly, on the 11th of May