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Freddie Mac's 2008 losses pile up to $50.1 billion

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Freddie Mac, the ailing mortgage giant hammered by the subprime crisis, has reported a net loss of 50.1 billion dollars for 2008. The Bush administration seized the company in September to prevent its collapse.

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AFP - Freddie Mac, the ailing US mortgage finance giant seized by the government, reported Wednesday a 2008 net loss of 50.1 billion dollars, bleeding nearly half of it the fourth quarter.

The company's 2008 net loss was more than 16 times larger than the 3.1 billion dollars of red ink for 2007.

Freddie Mac said it had a fourth quarter net loss of 23.9 billion dollars, as the global financial crisis intensified after the collapse of investment bank Lehman Brothers in September.

The fourth quarter results were down slightly from a 25.3-billion-dollar loss in the third quarter.

Losses in the 2008 final quarter mainly were driven by writedowns, including on the company's derivative porfolio, and increased credit-related expenses, said the shareholder-owned company, which was seized by the government in September to prevent its collapse.

The company said its government-appointed conservator has asked the US Treasury for an additional 30.8 billion dollars in funding as part of its bailout, after shareholders' equity totaled a negative 30.7 billion dollars at December 31.

Freddie Mac said it expected to receive the funds from the Treasury in March.
 

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