Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac are the nation's fourth and fifth largest financial services companies. They hold a combined $1.5 trillion in loans and mortgage-backed securities on their books and guarantee payment on another combined $2.4 trillion in MBS held by other investors. Both the Federal Reserve and Bush Administration think the companies have grown too big, too fast and worry that they could upend the broader markets if their interest-rate hedges are wrong and there's a sudden and unexpected rate shift in the opposite direction. Kopecki broke the news that Fannie's accounting woes stretched far beyond those the government-sponsored enterprise previously disclosed. Kopecki also chronicled the problems with two Federal Home Loan Bank System board members suspected with using non-public information to sell large stakes of the Bank's stock.
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