Freddie Mac

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The smaller of the two mortgage giants, Freddie Mac has stayed on its feet because of the roughly $64 billion in government bailout money it’s received. Along with Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac still guarantees or owns half of all U.S. residential mortgages, and the government support has allowed both companies to more or less freeze time on their balance sheets for years now.The Obama administration has outlined plans to phase out government support for Freddie and Fannie, but there’s a long road ahead: By the administration’s estimate, that process could take up to seven years. —S.D.

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