A report issued late Wedensday by Moody's Investors Service said that Freddie Mac may face credit losses greater than its recent forecast as the mortgage and housing crisis continues to worsen. From the press statement (subscription req'd), some pretty straight shooting insofar as ratings analysts go:
Freddie Mac now expects credit losses to rise through at least 2009, equaling 11 basis points of its credit guarantee portfolio, which was the historic high in credit losses for the GSE. Factors that could lead to a downgrade of Freddie Mac's BFSR [Bank Financial Strength Rating], subordinated debt and preferred stock ratings, include credit losses materially above its 11 basis point loss forecast ... In Moody's view, continued deterioration in the mortgage market, resulting in further decline in these books may lead to credit losses in excess of their 11 basis point loss forecast. In addition, subprime (FICO<620) loans, which total $66 billion of Freddie Mac's portfolio represent 49% of those origination years. A reversion to a stable outlook would likely result should actual credit losses remain at or near the 11 basis points of expected levels, or profit levels offset actual credit.
Moody's did note that increased guarantee fees should help mitigate some of the impact associated with what is expected to be historic highs in credit costs. Bloomberg covered this story as well, with Freddie Mac noting that it "stands by" its estimates given earlier this week.