On the surface, it may look like Fannie Mae andFreddie Mac are in financial trouble again. But in reality, both government-sponsored enterprises have emerged from the financial crisis churning out more profits before taxes than they ever have before. Per The Economist:
Last week, Fannie Mae reported annual net income of $14.2 billion and annual comprehensive income of $14.7 billion in 2014. This compares to net income of $84.0 billion and comprehensive income of $84.8 billion in 2013, which included the release of the company’s valuation allowance against its deferred tax assets.
On the other side, Freddie Mac posted net income of $7.7 billion for the full-year 2014, compared to $48.7 billion for the full-year 2013. Freddie’s 2014 net income and comprehensive income declined from 2013 by $41 billion and $42.2 billion, respectively. 2013 results included an income tax benefit of $23.3 billion that primarily resulted from the release of the deferred tax asset valuation allowance in the third quarter of 2013.
“Falling market interest rates forced the pair to declare losses from their derivatives on their accounts, although the impact of this will even out in the long term,” the article stated.
Since Barack Obama’s administration in effect expropriated shareholders stakes in 2012: virtually all earnings now go to the Treasury.
Two challenges to this arrangement are before federal courts. Critics contend that the government is sowing the seeds of another crisis by encouraging both firms to loosen their lending standards for political reasons. But in the meantime the American government can look forward to some healthy dividends from the pair.