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Uncle Sam, the Most Profitable Mortgage Banker in America?

NOV 15, 2012 12:38pm ET

What was that old criticism about Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac (pre-conservatorship) – that their risk was “public” but their profits were private? Well, guess what? Their risk is still public – but their profits are too. Freddie earned $5.6 billion in 3Q, Fannie $2.6 billion. Annualized, that translates into $32.8 billion – money that will go straight into the Treasury’s coffers. But let’s not forget about their little sister, Ginnie Mae, which earned $606 million in fiscal year 2012. And it all started under a Republican president George W. Bush and continued under a Democrat who never ran a business in his life, except for maybe a lemonade stand when he was a kid in Hawaii.