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Fannie Mae loses $2.4 billion in 4Q, seeks $4.6 billion more

Fannie Mae lost $2.4 billion in the fourth quarter and asked the federal government for another $4.6 billion in bailouts.

Fannie earned a $73 million profit the same period the year before. The government-sponsored enterprise reported a $16.8 billion loss for the entire year, widening 20% from the $14 billion in losses in 2010.

Fannie paid $2.6 billion in dividends to the Treasury Department in the fourth quarter.

Since entering conservatorship in 2008, Fannie received $116 billion in bailouts through the end of 2011 and paid back roughly $19.8 billion.

A $6.1 billion increase in lost net fair value of its assets pushed a poorer performance in 2011. Significant declines in interest rates over the year pushed more losses on its risk management derivatives.

Combined with Freddie Mac and Ginnie Mae, the federal government guaranteed more than 99% of mortgage-backed securities issued between 2009 and 2011, accounting for more than 85% of all single-family loans.

Fourth quarter revenues declined 8% to $4.5 billion from the year before. Revenues for the year actually increased 17% to $20.4 billion.

Fannie charged off $4.7 billion in credit losses, increasing 40% from the same quarter in the prior year. The higher losses came from a slight increase in foreclosures. The mortgage giant repossessed more than 47,000 homes in the last three months of 2011, up from nearly 46,000 one year prior.

The problem loans continue to rise from the books of business originated between 2005 and 2008. These loans cost Fannie $140 billion since 2009. Its becoming a smaller portion of the entire portfolio, though, shrinking to 31% at the end of 2011 from 39% the year before.

"Our new single-family book now accounts for more than half of our overall single-family guaranty book of business," said Fannie Mae CFO Susan McFarland.

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