By Charles Payne
While the market was celebrating the latest trillion dollar bailout, Fannie Mae (FNM) posted yet another net loss. The loss of $11.0 billion was the 12th consecutive quarter of losses from the government sponsored enterprise.
Consequently, the company needs to dip into their unlimited funding pot (this gift was stealthily pushed through last Christmas Eve, and it just keeps on giving and taking) for another $8.6 billon. The tally for Fannie is now $84.6 billion, and with its smaller brother Freddie Mac (FRE), they owe American taxpayers $145.0 billion.
And the Company's debt is sure to continue growing. The pool of non-performing loans climbed to $224.0 billion from $217.0 billion in the last three months. Over the past two years, the Company has lost $145.0 billion, which is more than double the profits the Company made over the previous 35 years.
5.47% of loans guaranteed by Fannie are 90-days past due, and that is seen as good news because it's a slight improvement from 5.5% in the preceding quarter, and was the first QOQ decline in three years. Yes, the Street took all of this in stride and saw the good news, sending the stock up a few pennies.
These GSEs are being used by the White House to manipulate the housing market, but even an unlimited capacity to tap taxpayers hasn't been enough. There were 94,000 modified mortgages, more than double the preceding quarter, but foreclosures increased to 62,000 from 47,000.
Here's the real crazy thing about all of this money and risks taxpayers are taking: It's more or less off balance sheet. Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac are not included in the White House's budget. Despite the $6.3 trillion in liabilities they possess which could be dumped on the public, these financial anchors aren't in the budget.
Just think about that the next time some official is bragging about bailouts working. TARP has become the President's personal piggy bank and Fannie and Freddie (along with Ginnie Mae, VA, and FHA) are backing all new mortgages, including very high risk stuff. Of course, if you scare the private sector out of a business it leaves it all to the government.
But businesses run for political gain are doomed to fail. The government owns 80% of Fannie and Freddie and they are being run with the same agenda born out of the Community Reinvestment Act. This explains why there has been no congressional browbeating or public humiliation of these two companies.
Instead, they exist in a gray area that sees them suck billions of dollars out of the economy with zero accountability. It is hard to understand why an Administration that prides itself on transparency would push such an economic black hole off the books.
Back in 2008, when Peter Orszag was the Director of Congressional Budget Office, he said the authority was now in place for the operations of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac to be "directly incorporated into the federal budget."
According to the Don Juan of the Administration:
doing so reflects a very tight nexus between the firms and the federal government and the degree of control being exercised by the federal government over their operations.
As it stands now the liabilities at Fannie and Freddie aren't factored directly into deficit calculations. As the West continues to rely on bailouts the accounting is sure to get funkier and funkier.
Disclosure: No positions