- The Washington Times - Saturday, August 8, 2009

Freddie Mac escaped the second quarter without asking the government for any new financial aid, but still expects to need more federal help in the future.

The government-controlled mortgage finance company posted a quarterly loss of $374 million, or 11 cents a share, including $1.1 billion in dividends paid to the government.

Excluding those payments, the McLean-based company would have earned $768 million. In the year-ago period, Freddie lost $1.05 billion, or $1.63 a share. Revenue totaled $7.5 billion versus $1.6 billion.

The company was able to maintain a positive net worth of $8.2 billion in the quarter ended June 30. As a result, it did not need to seek funding from the Treasury Department, which has provided Freddie Mac with $51 billion since the takeover last September.

The government has pledged up to $400 billion in aid for Freddie Mac and its sibling Fannie Mae. The two companies play a vital role in the mortgage market by purchasing loans from banks and selling them to investors. Together, they own or guarantee almost 31 million home loans worth about $5.4 trillion. That’s about half of all U.S. home mortgages.

“While we are seeing some early signs pointing to a housing recovery - including a modest uptick in house prices in some markets - our outlook remains cautious due to rising foreclosures, growing unemployment, tight lending standards and buyers’ reluctance to re-enter the market,” said John Koskinen, Freddie Mac’s interim chief executive.

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